Virgin Atlantic has unveiled plans to restart services from London Heathrow to Orlando, Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York JFK and Los Angeles next month.
It will steadily increase schedules throughout the second half of the year, with a further, gradual recovery through 2021 in line with customer demand.
Chief commercial officer Juha Jarvinen 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.”
Virgin Atlantic is temporarily operating from Terminal 2 at Heathrow, due to HAL’s terminal consolidation. It will return to Terminal 3 when demand at Heathrow grows, enabling Terminal 3 to reopen.
The airline said safe distancing will be adhered to wherever possible, particularly at check-in and boarding, and where not possible masks will be required.
Passengers will get a Health Pack with medical grade face masks as a requirement to be worn onboard, surface wipes and hand gel.
In the short term, Virgin will be offering a simplified hot food service onboard to minimise contact.
Corneel Koster, chief customer officer, added: “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.
“While we will continuously review our measures, wearing a mask for the duration of the flight will initially be required.”