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Virgin Atlantic cancels all Manchester-Delhi flights and launches its Summer 2021 flying schedule

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Virgin Atlantic has revealed its flying plans for Summer 2021.  This follows the announcement that Sir Richard Branson is selling part of his stake in Virgin Galactic to raise funds to pump into the airline.

Whilst schedules are not normally finalised so far in advance, the lack of real Summer season this year and the opportunity to book 331 days in advance means that now may be a good time to think about plans for next year.

Whilst the airline is pulling out of London Gatwick for now, flights continue from London Heathrow, Manchester, Glasgow and Belfast.

(It is good to see confirmation that Glasgow and Belfast will continue, as they were not mentioned in the recent announcement about network changes.)

 Virgin Atlantic launched its Summer 2021 schedule

Virgin’s Manchester to Delhi flights are not on the list

What is noticeable by its absence from the list is the new Manchester to Delhi route.

This was due to launch on 26th October.  The plan was for three flights per week, picking up some of the slack left by the cancellation of the Jet Airwarys service between Manchester and Mumbai.

This would have been the only direct flight from Manchester to India.

It seems that this route, like London to Sao Paulo, will not launch at all.  Ticket sales have been closed for all dates.  If you are booked on this service then Virgin Atlantic will be in touch to discuss your options, with the Heathrow to Delhi service presumably being the preferred choice.

EDIT: As readers noted, Manchester to Las Vegas is also missing.

Virgin Atlantic cancels Manchester to Delhi

Where will Virgin Atlantic fly in Summer 2021?

Whilst it is impossible to predict when travel restrictions will be fully lifted, airlines and travel companies are currently preparing for a reduced but otherwise ‘normal’ flying program in 2021.

From the 28th March, which is when the ‘summer season’ officially starts in the aviation world, Virgin Atlantic will operate the following routes:

From Belfast

Orlando (press release says this is a ‘reduced’ service)

From Glasgow


From London Heathrow

Cape Town (this is a winter service but will run until April)
Hong Kong
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Montego Bay
New York JFK
San Francisco
Tel Aviv
Washington DC

From Manchester

Los Angeles
New York JFK

Whilst it recently cancelled the launch of its new route to Sao Paulo, it looks like Virgin Atlantic will go ahead with Cape Town from November 2020.

It is also increasing the frequency to Tel Aviv, which appears to be doing well enough since its launch in September 2019 to warrant a second daily flight.

Whilst Virgin Atlantic has announced that Summer 2021 is ‘on sale’ from 16th May, this is not fully true.  You can only book 331 days in advance, so a trip in July 2021 would not be bookable until August for example.

Virgin’s current ‘book with confidence’ policy currently only extends to travel by 31st December.  This cut-off point has been extended several times already but, that said, you should expect flights for Summer 2021 to go ahead as scheduled.

You can book on the Virgin Atlantic site here from 16th May.

HFP Virgin Atlantic Rewards credit card

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points):

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

Until 2nd November 2021, there is a special offer on The Platinum Card from American Express.

You will receive a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points which converts into 60,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (42)

  • Mark Jerrom says:

    No mention of the cancelling of Manchester to Las Vegas?

    • Simon J says:

      Been dropped as well

    • mart says:

      looks like its gone from immediate effect ,we can login to our September booking but flights dont exist on schedule

    • Rob says:

      Hadn’t seen this, sorry.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Virgin have indicated on social media that it will be getting in touch with those already booked on the MAN-LAS route. Casino’s and Nightclubs are close proximity environments which may Virgin may feel will be in lower demand for a while… but poolside drinking and National Parks are good alternatives around Las Vegas! Hopefully the route will be reinstated when it rebounds as a leisure destination.

  • Kip says:

    VS have retained the route options for both Vegas and Delhi next summer. In fact, DEL has been provisionally increased to 3 a week. Whether they run depends on the global situation I guess.

  • Mr R lawson says:

    We have booked flights for October and March, ( Orlando) early because we like certain seats in the bubble , how and when would we be able to choose new seats on different aircraft

    • Rhys says:

      No different to when you would be able to select seats previously – depends on status etc

  • insider says:

    makes sense to put flights on sale now to try and get any extra revenue in as early as possible. I for one will not be taking any risks and booking this early!

    • Rhys says:

      The flights haven’t been put on sale any earlier than usual, they’ve just clarified the summer schedule.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Will credit card providers even being releasing the funds? I wouldn’t. But then probability of demise increases. Then as a credit card company my probability to s75 claims increases. Catch 22.

  • Alan says:

    I see Manchester-Boston seems to have been axed. Shame, I used it a couple of times, nice and easy with train from Edinburgh.

    • Andrew says:

      Hopefully Delta will bring back Edinburgh to Boston.

      I used it twice last year.

    • Stu N says:

      You’re a braver man than me if relying on Transpennie Express to get you anywhere even vaguely on time…

      If they promised to divert the flight to Warton International Airport when TPE terminated the service at Preston I’d be willing to risk it, otherwise count me out.

    • Paul Ellis says:

      Pretty sure Delta were due to pick up MAN-BOS this summer

      • Rhys says:

        Yes this is/was correct, although obviously possible that it might change given the circumstances.

      • Anna says:

        Delta seems to change its schedule on a daily basis just now, announcing they are flying imminently to destinations which are not even accepting visitors yet such as Bahamas and Bermuda. It makes me wonder if they are desperately trying to get some cash in knowing that they will be cancelling these routes and can drag their heels about giving refunds.

  • Blenz101 says:

    Has anybody checked what Rob is doing with his VS miles as a result of this news? 😉

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      He’s moving them all to Hilton as a matter of urgency 😂

    • Mikeact says:

      Not again….give the guy a break.

    • Jessiefan says:

      Looking more like holding firm with VS was the right move instead of wiping out half your value

      • Peter K says:

        It depends on your reasoning and circumstances, surely.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        Not if you were saving for Manchester – Las Vegas.

      • Genghis says:

        “It’s easy to be wise after the event”.

        • Rob says:

          Not out of the woods yet ….

          If anything, the current breathing space means you may want to transfer out, since it is now very likely the airline survives long enough to complete the transfer and pay Hilton or IHG.

          • Bazza says:

            Oi oi! His covering his bets here! Haha
            Rob unfairly has got it in the neck before when others have blindly followed his advice without using their own brains for their own circumstances.
            Can see some more crying if this goes wrong for them.

          • Jamesj says:

            Nice one !

  • Tak says:

    Why do people use VS to refer to Virgin Atlantic? Why not VA? Thks

    • Rhys says:

      Because VS is the IATA airline code that you see on the flight numbers. VA is used by Virgin Australia.

    • BrightonReader says:

      When the Airline started VA was already taken by (a now defunct) airline in Argentina so they went with VS from Virgin atlantic airwayS

      When V Australia started the VA code was available

      (As an aside te reason why some people get pedantic about using VS for Virgin Atlantic is because it avoids confusion between V Australia and (the now defunct) V America)

  • Lilly says:

    What do we think will happen with the VS flights booked for this summer? I’ve got LHR to SEA booked, I’d be really happy to just have them transferrred over to the same dates in summer 21.

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