Virgin Atlantic will not carry out any passenger flights for a portion of this month amid the coronavirus pandemic. The airline is temporarily suspending passenger operations and will carry cargo only. This will be transported in both the cabin and the hold.
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Virgin received “special dispensation” from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for this in order for the aircraft to “carry even more essential goods.”
The cargo-only period will last from 20 April to 26 April.
The airline has said they making the temporary changes due to a drop in customer demand amid travel restrictions.
Virgin added they are reviewing the flying programme on a daily basis.
The move away from passenger operations will affect three long haul routes.
These are as follows, with the flights operating as cargo-only:
London Heathrow (LHR) to New York (JFK) — 21-26 April
London Heathrow (LHR) to Hong Kong (HKG) — 20-26 April
London Heathrow (LHR) to Los Angeles (LAX) — 20-26 April
Virgin will also be operating eight cargo-only flights between London Heathrow and Shanghai in partnership with the Department of Health and the NHS.
What’s more, Virgin has said that it’s working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to operate repatriation flights where needed.
Passengers booked onto to the affected flights will be contacted by Virgin Atlantic and provided with options to amend their bookings.
A spokesperson for the airline told Express.co.uk ”Following the rapid acceleration of Covid-19 and extensive travel restrictions, coupled with a sharp drop in customer demand, Virgin Atlantic is continuing to review its flying programme each day and has made the decision to move most of its current scheduled services to cargo-only services from 20 April until 26 April.”
“The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has provided Virgin Atlantic with special dispensation to carry cargo in the cabin as well as the cargo hold, so that we can carry even more essential goods, to ensure global supply chains keep running and transporting essential medical supplies into the UK at this time of crisis.”
“Virgin Atlantic will operate both scheduled passenger and cargo services from 27 April, and continue to work closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to help facilitate repatriation flights and bring UK nationals home.
“Customers who have booked flights on these amended services will be contacted with information about alternative options or they can visit virginatlantic.com for more information, including customer centre contact details. We’d like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by these changes and appreciate our customers patience while we navigate this unprecedented situation.”
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What are Virgin Atlantic’s rebooking options?
If you’ve already used part of your ticket:
If you’re mid-trip and away from home, fill out Virgin’s away from home form
If you haven’t travelled yet:
Rebook your travel up to 31st May 2022
Reroute your travel to, from or via another destination
Virgin won’t charge a change fee, but new flights are subject to availability and any difference in the fare. If you rebook to finish travel by 30th November 2020, no difference in fare or change fee will be charged. Virgin can only rebook flights up to 331 days in advance, so if you’re looking to fly after that, wait until flights become available.
Alternatively, you can leave your ticket open.
If you’re unsure of your new travel dates, Virgin will keep your ticket open until you’re ready to rebook. You need to make sure you rebook and travel by 31st May 2022. There’s no charge to do this but your new flights will be subject to availability and any potential fare difference. For bookings made directly with Virgin Atlantic only. Complete Virgin’s open ticket form
If you’ve booked through Virgin Holidays, or through another website or travel agent, please contact them for your options.
If rebooking or rerouting is not suitable for you, Virgin’s team can also discuss other options with you.
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