Virgin Atlantic has announced plans to restart passenger flights in July.

The airline will also have enhanced safety measures for passengers and crew, with a deep clean regime carried out onboard every plane before every flight.

Where will Virgin Atlantic fly to?

The airline will initially operate flights from London Heathrow to the following destinations from these dates:

Monday, July 20

  • Orlando
  • Hong Kong

Tuesday, July 21

  • Shanghai
  • New York
  • Los Angeles

Virgin Atlantic has only operated cargo flights in recent weeks due to the collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

What have Virgin Atlantic said?

Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer of Virgin Atlantic said: “Our planned first flights will be to Orlando and Hong Kong on July 20, however, we are monitoring external conditions extremely closely, in particular the travel restrictions many countries have in place including the 14 day quarantine policy for travellers entering the UK.

“We know that as the Covid-19 crisis subsides, air travel will be a vital enabler of the UK’s economic recovery.

“Therefore, 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.

“We are planning to announce more destination restart dates in the next two weeks for the month of August.”

What new safety measures are being implemented?

To ensure health and safety, Virgin Atlantic is implementing additional measures in the airport and when in the skies.

These include:

  • Enhanced and thorough cleaning practices at check in, boarding gates and onboard including the use of electrostatic spraying of high-grade disinfectant onboard in all cabins and lavatories, ensuring no surface is left untouched. 
  • Social 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 also provide a personal health pack for the wellbeing and comfort of all their passengers, which will contain medical grade face masks as a requirement to be worn onboard, surface wipes and hand gel. In the short term, the company will also be offering a simplified hot food service onboard to minimise contact, enclosed from preparation in a Covid-safe, monitored environment directly to our customers’ seats.

Corneel Koster, chief customer officer at Virgin Atlantic added: “Our teams have been working tirelessly to ensure that the health and safety of our airport and onboard experience offers peace of mind to our customers when travelling with us.

“Our medical experts are working closely with all relevant U.K. and international health and aviation authorities to ensure we adhere to, and on many occasions exceed the guidance they are offering, whilst continuously reviewing and updating the measures we have in place to keep our customers and teams safe.

“We are carrying out health questionnaires before check in and are calling upon airport and health authorities to put temperature checks in place as part of a multi layered, end-to-end health screen.

“We have introduced a personal Health Pack for the comfort of all customers, containing medical grade face masks, surface wipes and hand gel, and are implementing a series of measures to limit customer-to-customer and customer-to-crew contact throughout the journey.

“While we will continuously review our measures, wearing a mask for the duration of the flight will initially be required.

“Our meticulous cleaning program ensures our planes are disinfected and amongst the cleanest in the skies, while we work with our airport partners to ensure sanitisation of customer touchpoints on the ground.

“Our customers are in safe hands and we are really looking forward to welcoming them back onboard from July 20.”