Virgin to restart more routes

By Steve Hartridge, published 24/06/20

Virgin Atlantic is to restart 17 more routes from August, with San Francisco, Tel Aviv and Barbados scheduled to take off from Heathrow early in the month, followed by Miami, Lagos and Atlanta.

The carrier’s Heathrow-Shanghai route, initially scheduled to resume in July, has been pushed back to August 4.

Virgin has also had to delay the relaunch of its Orlando route. Originally scheduled for a July restart, an Orlando service from both Manchester and Heathrow will begin on August 24, subject to US CDC approval.

The other July relaunch routes that had already been announced by Virgin will go ahead as planned. Hong Kong will recommence on July 20, New York JFK and Los Angeles will follow the day after.

San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Lagos, Atlanta. Washington, Seattle, Las Vegas, Mumbai, Delhi and Johannesburg will restart in September, while Boston, Montego Bay, Antigua, Grenada and Tobago will start in October, as will the airline's Manchester-Barbados service.

However the airline said the above schedule depends on the travel restrictions many countries have in place including the current 14-day quarantine policy for travellers entering the UK.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer for 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."

Jarvinen again called on the UK Government to 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".

He said the carrier expected more flights from Heathrow and Manchester to resume in September and October 2020.

Passengers will be given a personal health pack containing medical-grade face masks – which must be worn onboard – surface wipes and hand gel.

A simplified hot food service in Economy and Premium Economy will be served, while, in Upper Class, customers will receive a choice of hot meals, desserts, including cheese and biscuits, which will be delivered to seats on a tray. A 'temporary limited alcohol offering' will be available in all cabins.

Flights will operate temporarily from Terminal 2, returning to its home base of Terminal 3 when demand grows.