Virgin Atlantic is resuming commercial passenger services starting from July 20, 2020. The first route is planned from London‘s Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Hong Kong‘s International Airport (HKG).
On July 21, 2020, the airline will also resume services to New York John. F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Virgin Atlantic stated on June 22, 2020. A further 17 destinations will slowly appear in the airline‘s network starting August 2020.
“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,” stated the Chief Commercial Officer of the United Kingdom-based airline, Juha Jarvinen. But the company is still monitoring the situation, especially government-imposed travel restrictions.
Virgin Atlantic pleaded for the United Kingdom’s government to review quarantine measures and instead look at a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, including air bridges, according to Jarvinen. This would allow the successful and safe resumption of international passenger services.
The airline would return to the skies after it grounded 85% of its fleet in April 2020. Some aircraft, including the quad-engine Airbus A340s and Boeing 747s, exited the fleet permanently. The carrier also cut its London Gatwick Airport (LGW) operations and fired over 3,000 employees.