As the world picks up the pieces and tries to live with the CoronaVirus, airlines have started to reveal their plans about how they would begin to fly again and build their network back in the days ahead. Virgin Atlantic, the second-largest airline of UK, has now revealed their plans to resume flying, and how they intend to restart their India operations in the months ahead.
Following the airline’s announcement that services from London Heathrow to Hong Kong, New York JFK and Los Angeles are expected to resume from July 20/21, 2020, Virgin Atlantic has unveiled more detailed plans that will see passenger flying restart to many destinations across the airline’s network.
Virgin Atlantic has announced its plan to restart passenger flying to 17 additional destinations from August 2020. Flights from Delhi and Mumbai to London Heathrow start on September 2, 2020, and will provide connections to a range of US destinations.
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic commented,
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. From 20th July we will resume services to New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong then from 1st August onwards, we will resume passenger flying to 17 additional destinations around the world including Delhi, Mumbai and Tel Aviv.”
Here are the plans for Virgin Atlantic’s reopening of passenger flights from various markets in the coming weeks and months.
A planned resumption from India on September 2 would mean perhaps the first flight from London Heathrow to Delhi and Mumbai will start on September 1, 2020. VS will be operating from Terminal 2 at LHR for the time being as Terminal 3 is currently closed.
London – Delhi – London resuming September 1, 2020
VS302 LHR0925 – 2225DEL 333 D
VS303 DEL0205 – 0705LHR 333 D
London – Mumbai – London resuming September 1, 2020
VS354 LHR2140 – 1115(+1)BOM 789 D
VS355 BOM1320 – 1805LHR 789 D
Both the flights are available for sale on the Virgin Atlantic website at the moment. However, India has not announced plans to open their borders at the moment and notified any plans towards how international travel on commercial flights will be permitted in the coming days. Hence, it would be advisable to hold off booking tickets until the Government of India does not give an all-clear on international travel.
To ensure the health and safety of customers and our people, Virgin Atlantic is implementing additional measures to offer peace of mind in the airport and when taking to the skies. These include enhanced and thorough cleaning practices at check-in, boarding gates and on board including the use of electrostatic spraying of high-grade disinfectant onboard in all cabins and lavatories, ensuring no surface is left untouched.
Safe distancing will also be adhered to wherever possible, particularly at check-in and boarding and where not possible, masks will be required. Virgin Atlantic will provide a personal Health Pack for all customers, which will contain medical-grade face masks as a requirement to be worn on board, surface wipes and hand gel.
In the short term, to minimise contact, Virgin Atlantic will also be offering a simplified hot food service in Economy and Premium Economy, enclosed from preparation in a CoVid-safe, monitored environment directly to the seat. Upper-Class customers will receive a choice of hot meals and desserts, including cheese & biscuits, which will be delivered to their seat on a tray. VS will also be offering a temporarily limited alcohol offering in all cabins.
This is good news to hear because Virgin Atlantic has its loyal customer base in India, and one of the first instances of an airline announcing their plans to return to India. This could be subject to India opening up their borders, which are closed at the moment only till June 30, 2020, but will be most likely extended.
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