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Virgin Atlantic to restart passenger flights in July and provide ‘health pack’ amenity kits

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Virgin Atlantic has just announced that it hopes to restart passenger flying in July.

The airline seems to have changed its mind recently after stating that it didn’t intend to restart flying until August thanks to the 14-day quarantine imposed by the government on UK arrivals.

New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, Hong Kong  and Shanghai are due to resume from the 20th or 21st July. They will be joined by more destinations due to be announced later this month, with further re-openings dependent on travel restrictions easing around the world.

Virgin is currently operating many routes as freight-only, and will continue to fly cargo-only services where necessary. Orlando is perhaps the odd one out on this list as it is likely to be a predominantly leisure rather than business or cargo destination.

Whilst Hong Kong has announced it is re-opening its airport for transiting passengers, it has doubled down on restrictions to non-resident arrivals by extending the existing ban by three months.

Heathrow Terminal 3 remains closed, so Virgin will operate out of Terminal 2 in the short term whilst demand begins to rebuild.

Virgin Atlantic will mandate use of face masks

All passengers will be required to wear face masks, and Virgin will be handing out ‘Health Packs’ that include face masks, surface wipes and hand gel. The kit is similar to the one Delta started distributing in May, albeit very on-brand!

Virgin has also announced new hygiene measures including the use of “electrostatic spraying of high-grade disinfectant onboard in all our cabins and lavatories, ensuring no surface is left untouched”. This appears to be another procedure they have taken on from Delta.

The airline will also block some seats from passengers to try and maximise the distance between individuals, as well as have a dedicated isolation area for travellers who present symptoms on board.

The meal service will be simplified, and come in the form of a box:

It’s not clear whether the contents will vary for economy, Premium or Upper Class travellers.

Edit: Virgin have clarified that Upper Class customers will continue to receive an “Upper Class service” albeit in a modified format or presentation, likely to be served in a single tray.

Alcohol will not be available initially in any cabin.

Virgin Atlantic’s decision to reboot operations in July rather than August is a good sign that the airline sees travel starting to recover sooner rather than later. You can read more about the new processes Virgin is implementing on the Virgin Atlantic site here.

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Comments (53)

  • Paul Wingrove says:

    Virgin Atlantic has informed myself that until 25th October flights will be leaving from Gatwick, after that everything will be from Heathrow

  • Will in SFO says:

    Surely VS don’t believe MCO will happen. It needs:

    – MCO to be allowed to receive international arrivals (guess tourism ind is lobbying DC hard for this given Disney reopening though vast majority of visitors (like 70%) to Disney are US nationals)

    – Trump to lift the travel ban.

    As Rhys says I can’t see there is enough demand from US nationals and Brits with green cards or a US National in their family to justify the route.

  • Aharon says:

    My understanding is that MCO has been brought back on the assumption that whilst it won’t be cash-positive, that it will mitigate cash going out of the door in terms of refunds. Virgin have posted in their travel trade communications that now LHR-MCO is flying from 20JUL on this route (and for LGW-MCO) bookings that non refundable tickets won’t be refunded. Suspect the hope is people will either take a chance on the flight or rebook on a higher yielding flight for a later date.

    Assumptions based on FAQ on VS Flying Hub

  • Amber Lynn says:

    Lets all hope the Trumpster opens the US up for travel again. God bless the USA

  • Graham Jagger says:

    What about the current travel ban brought in by Donald Trump stopping flights into the USA from the UK?
    This is due for review on 23rd June, are you expecting this to be lifted?
    When are Virgin flights expected to recommence from Manchester to Atlanta?

  • insider says:

    Maybe they just want to put some flights in the system to earn some cash whilst they’re struggling – if the bans are not lifted, they cancel the flights and take 90+days to return the money, buying them a few extra weeks?

  • Merana James says:

    I am due to return to St Lucia on the 7th June, please let me know what has been put in place for people on this flight. Will they be put on the July flight, or will they get a refund as Virgin will no longer be flying to St Lucia after June.
    Please respond, you have my email address.