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Virgin Atlantic had already announced that it would be resuming flights to Hong Kong, New York and Los Angeles from 20th/21st July 2020, but is has now confirmed it plans to serve 17 additional destinations this year. Most of the flights are scheduled to begin this Summer too – although all plans are still subject to government travel restrictions.
Here is the full list:
|Planned restart date||Routes|
|20th July 2020||London Heathrow to Hong Kong|
|21st July 2020||London Heathrow to New York JFK, Los Angeles|
|1st August 2020||London Heathrow to Barbados|
|4th August 2020||London Heathrow to Shanghai|
|4th August 2020||London Heathrow to San Francisco|
|9th August 202||London Heathrow to Tel Aviv|
|18th August 2020||London Heathrow to Miami|
|23rd August 2020||London Heathrow to Lagos|
|24th August 2020||London Heathrow and Manchester to Orlando (subject to CDC approval)|
|25th August 2020||London Heathrow to Atlanta|
|September 2020||London Heathrow to Washngton, Seattle, Las Vegas|
|September 2020||London Heathrow to Boston|
|October 2020||London Heathrow to Montego Bay, Antigua, Grenada and Tobago (via Antigua)|
|October 2020||Manchester to Barbados|
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic commented:
“As countries around the world begin to relax travel restrictions, we look forward to welcoming our customers back onboard and flying them safely to many destinations across our network. From 20th July we are planning to resume some services and then from 1st August onwards, we will resume passenger flying to 17 additional destinations around the world including Tel Aviv, Miami, Lagos and San Francisco,”
“However, we are monitoring external conditions extremely closely, in particular the travel restrictions many countries have in place including the 14 day quarantine policy for travellers entering the UK. We know that as the Covid-19 crisis subsides, air travel will be a vital enabler of the UK’s economic recovery. Therefore, we are calling for UK Government to continually review its quarantine measures and instead look at a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, including air bridges, which will support a successful and safe restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses.”
I suspect we will hear more from the UK Government on ‘air bridges’ very soon, so hopefully Virgin can stick to its planned timetable for at least some of the flights listed above.
Given the increase in COVID-19 infection rates in some parts of the USA though, I’m not convinced that flights to cities like Las Vegas, Atlanta, Orlando and Miami will actually happen without mandatory quarantine on arrival in the UK.