Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
Virgin Atlantic has revealed further details about how it will resume regularly scheduled passenger flights with more destinations due to be added to the airline’s network in August, September and October. The airline has grounded the vast majority of its fleet for around three months in response to the Corona crisis but is now eyeing an ambitious schedule to resume passenger flights.
We’ve known since early June that Virgin Atlantic was to restart flights to New York JFK, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Shanghai from July 20 and eight more destinations are due to join in August alone. In September, a further six destinations will be added and finally, in October, the airline’s network will grow by another six destinations.
“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,” explained the chief commercial officer, Juha Jarvinen.
“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,” Jarvinen continued.
Virgin Atlantic has been a vocal critic of the 14-day quarantine rules and executives met with the Home Secretary Priti Patel in a failed bid to abandon the plans. For now, the quarantine rules remain in force but Jarvinen today called for a “multi-layered approach” of public health measures to replace the quarantine and get the aviation industry back on track.
The airline also said it would be open to the idea of “air bridges” that would open up quarantine-free travel between countries that have low levels of COVID-19 transmission. Such air bridges, however, have so far only been touted for opening up travel between European nations.
It’s unlikely that such air bridges would help Virgin Atlantic on many of the destinations it’s targeting, including throughout the United States which is seeing a significant rise in Coronavirus infections.
For now, Virgin’s restart plans looks like this:
- 20th – Hong Kong (HKG)
- 21st – New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX)
- 1st – Barbados (BGI)
- 4th – Shanghai (PVG) and San Francisco (SFO)
- 9th – Tel Aviv (TLV)
- 18th – Miami (MIA)
- 23rd – Lagos (LOS)
- 24th – Orlando (MCO)
- 25th – Atlanta (ATL)
- Washington DC
- Seattle (SEA)
- Las Vegas (LAS)
- Mumbai (BOM)
- Dehli (DEL)
- Johannesburg (JNB)
- Boston (BOS)
- Antigua (ANU)
- Granada (GRX)
- Tobago (TAB)
- Montego (MBJ)
- Barbados from Manchester
Flights to Orlando were originally scheduled to restart in July but have been pushed back to August in the hope that travel restrictions are further lifted.
Despite the substantial number of routes being restarted in just a few months, Virgin Atlantic is still planning to be a much smaller airline for some time to come. The airline has temporarily abandoned its base at Gatwick Airport and has laid-off over 3,000 employees in the last few weeks.
The airline also remains to talks with investors and the UK government over a bailout to save it from going into administration.
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.