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Wednesday airline updates: Virgin Atlantic’s 2021 timetable

written by Dylan Nicholson | May 13, 2020

Virgin Atlantic has released its summer 2021 schedule and what may be a glimpse into the future once the pandemic comes to an end.

The recent scrapping of Gatwick services means that a vast majority of all of Virgin Atlantic flights will operate from London Heathrow with small operations out of Manchester, and seasonal flights from Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Heathrow will carry a total of 24 long-haul destinations from Virgin Atlantic. Virgin states that flights will operate to the following destinations from Heathrow. However, the Cape Town route will cease operation in April.

  • Caribbean- Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Havana, Montego Bay, and Tobago.
  • US – Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York (JFK), Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington.
  • Asia – Delhi, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Shanghai, and Tel Aviv
  • Africa – Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Lagos.

When it comes to Manchester, the airline’s operations will be significantly smaller. Indeed, the airline will only be operating west-bound flights from the UK’s busiest non-London airport. The airline will operate flights to five destinations: Atlanta; Orlando; New York (JFK); Barbados; and Los Angeles.

Orlando is still a highlight of the airline’s plans, as alongside flights from London and Manchester, Virgin will also operate seasonal flights to the Florida destination from Belfast and Glasgow.

In other airline news:

  • A short-term pause on issuing refunds and credits for cancelled Virgin Australia flights has been extended indefinitely. In an application going before Australia’s Federal Court today, the airline’s administrators, Deloitte, are asking permission to issue conditional credits in lieu of refunds and credits, arguing they need to conserve cash.
  • The Mexican airline Interjet may have looked at a first attempt to obtain protection from creditors through a Mexican bankruptcy proceeding, equivalent to Chapter 11 in the US. Interjet claims this information is false and that it is not looking for any help nor protection from the Mexican justice system.
  • Despite entering liquidation earlier this year, Air Italy has applied to the United States Department of Transportation (DoT) for permission to continue to fly between Europe and the US.
  • Finnair has updated its website to reflect recent changes made to its health and safety policies – particularly in regards to handling the risk and threat of coronavirus. This includes plexiglass guards put up between airport staff and passengers at check-in as well as the distribution of cleaning wipes onboard. There will also be a requirement for all travellers to wear face masks while on the plane.
  • Brussels Airlines has today announced that it would need to reduce its workforce and fleet as a result of the current crisis. The airline’s entire scheduled operations have remained suspended since late March.
  • The feud between Qantas and Perth Airport has escalated a notch further. On Friday, the airport issued 30-day termination notices to the airline, advising it would not be renewing the carrier’s holdover leases. Qantas said these amount to eviction notices and warned that if they are not withdrawn, the airline could cease operations at Perth within two weeks.
  • Qatar Airways is offering 100,000 free, round-trip tickets to anywhere to in the world for frontline medical professionals and one companion. In a press release, the airline said the tickets are a token of gratitude to the medical workers who have saved lives during the coronavirus outbreak. The ticket giveaway opens today and will end on 18 May.


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