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See photos and videos from the BA and Virgin Atlantic dual take-off at Heathrow

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We’ve started to collate photos and video from the big US reopening event.

British Airways shared this video from the Heathrow control tower of the dual take-off of the British Airways and Virgin Atlantic flights to New York this morning. This is to celebrate the reopening of the US to visitors travelling from the UK.

If you look at the Instagram story that Rhys posted earlier, you can see that Heathrow airspace was closed to allow this to happen. The main reason was that a helicopter was flying around the airport to get shots of the take-off which were broadcast live on Sky News.

Here is the control tower video, which is only 38 seconds long. It starts off looking a bit dull but the final shot is very impressive:

Here is a video shot by Rhys showing the take-off.  He is in the Virgin Atlantic aircraft and has a perfect view of the British Airways aircraft alongside him – you can watch online here if it does not show below:

British Airways has only shared one photo so far. The Virgin Atlantic aircraft is the tiny one in the background …

British Airways Virgin Atlantic dual take off

This photo is from James Oates (@speedbiruk on Instagram) and is used with permission:

Rhys also sent this picture:

British Airways Virgin Atlantic joint take off

He’s also been testing out The Loft social area on the Virgin Atlantic A350 for your benefit:

Looks like a good time was had by all …..

Comments (51)

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  • Yuff says:

    Nice to see the news filled with this type of headline, makes a change……

  • John says:

    I’m hear Virgin were 81 miles ahead of BA when they landed

    • Rhys says:

      We beat BA 😏

      • John says:

        That’s not tight. I read a press release yesterday that the ‘race’ was about who would arrive on time with best fuel efficiency, and not who gets there first. Apparently to encourage greener flying.

  • Rich says:

    Just received the email from Sean Doyle about today’s events, writing about them in the future tense! Did his PR people not get the memo about it going out at 5am not 5pm. Behind the times as usual.

  • Josephine Stewart says:

    Not sure if this ‘good news’ was meant to bury a ‘bad news’ story, but it looks as though BA has pulled out of Japan – for good? All BA flights to/from Tokyo are no longer bookable

    • Rob says:

      Was meant to return March 2022.

      However, as BA and JAL have a JV on the route so BA may be happy to let JAL run with it and use its aircraft elsewhere. It will be very short of long haul aircraft for a couple of years.

      • Andrew says:

        And surely JAL have a better product than BA anyway, so maybe not such a bad thing.

    • Allan says:

      Still seems bookable in April / May 22

  • Duck Ling says:

    Loving the picture of ‘The Loft’ gathering.

    Virgin obvs doesn’t enforce it’s mask policy.

    • JP-MCO says:

      How do you manage to drink through a mask? And for the abundance of clarity, just because you pointed it out doesn’t make you anymore virtuous.

      • Geoggy says:

        As a clinically vulnerable patient that is still cancelling long haul flights instead of booking them, there’s a deep irony in your response. Pictures like this drill into the heart of my anxiety about returning to foreign travel. You can’t drink through a mask, you can however remove an ear hook temporarily.

        • David says:

          Quite agree.
          This has the optics of Boris Johnson visiting the hospital yesterday.

        • JP-MCO says:

          I am sympathetic to your circumstances and I don’t wish for my response to come across as insensitive but at what point will a clinically vulnerable person ever feel comfortable flying long haul again given that COVID will be endemic forever? Not to mention the many airborne pathogens that have not disappeared in the past 21 months and were around long before mask wearing became a requirement on planes.
          In all likelihood the photo in question features 100% vaccination and a negative test 3 days before departure. I am sure Virgin will enforce their mask policy if for no other reason than they wouldn’t want to fall foul of the federal government’s transport rules after 600 days of travel being suspended.
          My 92 and 93 year old grandparents currently have COVID. Both have dementia and a plethora of other co-morbidities but both are thankfully vaccinated. They are both extremely clinically vulnerable and were shielding. They were both quite ill with COVID but never to the point where they had to spend the day in bed and have almost fully recovered after 7 days. I guess I’m just trying to illustrate that, even at their age and with their many health conditions, catching COVID is not the death sentence it once was because vaccination has changed everything. Vaccination is the single best protection you can have and the overwhelming majority of people will remove their mask to eat/drink and then simply replace it again. Masks hanging off ears is a horrible sight and I can fully imagine that had they been there people would also have remarked, “they weren’t drinking at that moment so why didn’t they replace their mask”. You can’t please everybody.

          • Geoggy says:

            We are suffering from a pandemic of more than just a virus. We’ve also got an anecdotal evidence pandemic fuelled by social media. I’m glad your parents have recovered. Tell them you love them every day, as I wish I had that chance again. They clearly had low viral load exposure. I work in the NHS and I am full of alternative anecdotes with alternative endings. Wear a mask. Please.

  • Alastair says:

    Really great story – been lots of fun following this today, looking forward to the report from Rhys.

    So glad to be getting back in the air…

  • Polly says:

    Great camera work Rhys, steady hold. Lovely image of BA gathering speed and the take off. Loved keeping track this morning….great parry going on there too on VS…

  • Can says:

    I loved the video Rhys, well done!

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