The airline will once again start flying to New York City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Hong Kong and Shanghai, beginning either July 20 or 21.

By Cailey Rizzo
June 05, 2020
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Virgin Atlantic will resume flights from London Heathrow in late July.

The airline will once again start flying to New York City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Hong Kong and Shanghai, beginning either July 20 or 21, depending on the destination, the airline announced this week. More destinations will be added over the next two weeks that will resume service in August.

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The airline intends to steadily reintroduce routes and increase passenger traffic over the second half of 2021. It will be a gradual recovery through 2021, in line with customer demand.

In April, Virgin Atlantic temporarily suspended all passenger flights after weeks of operating near-empty flights due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the airline continued operating cargo flights to help bring medical supplies to the United Kingdom. When passenger flights resume, the airline will only fly from London Heathrow, cutting all service that flew through London Gatwick airport.

The airline has also implemented new health and safety procedures when flights resume including requiring passengers to wear face masks and possibly undergo temperature checks at airports before boarding. Each passenger will receive a health pack, containing face masks, surface wipes, and hand gel. Contact between passengers and cabin crew will be reduced, which will affect meal service onboard flights.

New cleaning and disinfecting procedures will be enacted at check-in, boarding gates and on board the aircraft. All cabins and lavatories will be treated with a high-grade disinfectant between flights.

“We are calling for a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, which will allow for a successful and safe restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses,” the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer, Juha Jarvinen, said in this week's announcement.

The list of destinations Virgin Atlantic will resume will depend greatly on travel restrictions around the world. The United Kingdom recently enacted a 14-day quarantine for all travelers entering the country from abroad that critics fear will impact the number of people who will visit, which could affect Virgin Atlantic’s passenger numbers.