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.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (January 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):
You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.
(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.)