Long term recovery for the carrier means a robust 2021 flying program and streamlined service
by Gretchen Kelly
Virgin Atlantic released its Summer 2021 flying program, saying it will “steadily increase” passenger flying in the second half of 2020, with a gradual recovery through 2021.
The schedule focuses on connectivity between major US hubs and a focus on London Heathrow and Manchester airports.
The airline continues service Heathrow and major US cities including JFK-New York, LAX, San Francisco, Las Vegas Atlanta, Miami and Washington, and Atlanta, JFK-New York, Los Angeles and Orlando service to Manchester.
Seasonal services between Glasgow, Belfast and Orlando will also resume.
The airline said it will also add a second daily service from Heathrow to Tel Aviv in Israel in March 2021 allowing connections and a consistent long haul onboard experience for customers connecting from US destinations including New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta via London Heathrow to Tel Aviv.
Virgin says it will be operating a fleet of wide-body, twin-engine aircraft comprised of A330-300s, 787-9s, A350-1000s as well as A330-200s, before that aircraft’s planned retirement in early 2022. The airline’s seven 747-400s will no longer be in use.
The announcement comes as Virgin’s embattled founder Richard Branson was forced to sell £400 million ($489 million) in stock in Virgin Galactic to stay afloat. The airline has shuttered its Gatwick service and has laid off over 3,000 workers. Branson has drawn fire in Britain for asking the government for bailout funds when he lives in the British Virgin Islands and does not pay personal UK taxes.