Virgin Atlantic announces its return to India

  • In photo – Cabin Crew Members – L-R – Natalie Burton, Mhairi McKenzie, Simon Cowley and Nina Corridan
    EDITORIAL USE ONLY
    Virgin Atlantic prepare for their first passenger service after a three month pause due to Covid-19. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday July 20, 2020. The airline has enhanced its meticulous cleaning regime to include electrostatic disinfectant fogging of the aircraft and individual Health Packs for all customers including face masks, hand sanitizer and surface wipes. Flights to New York and Los Angeles will be resuming on Tuesday July 21st. Photo credit should read: Matt Alexander/PA Wire
  • Virgin Atlantic is set to return from Delhi and Mumbai to London Heathrow under the ‘Air Bubble’ scheme – the bilateral air travel arrangement agreed between UK and Indian governments
  • Flights from Delhi planned to restart on 2nd September and Mumbai from 17th September 2020
  • Virgin Atlantic have put in place additional measures at the airport and onboard to ensure health and safety of its people and customers    

    Following the airline’s resumption of services from London Heathrow to Hong Kong, New York JFK, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Barbados Virgin Atlantic has unveiled its planned passenger flying restart to India.

    All customers eligible under the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs as per the Air Bubble scheme will be able to travel onboard Virgin Atlantic’s direct services to London Heathrow and US.

    The airline plans to operate three flights a week from Delhi to London Heathrow from 2nd September. Mumbai service restarts from 17th September and will operate four flights a week to London.

    Both the destinations will provide connections to New York JFK and will operate on 787-9 Dreamliner.

    Alex McEwan, Commercial Manager India, Virgin Atlantic commented: “This year marks 20 years of flying between UK and India and we’re delighted to resume our passenger services to this beautiful country. We know many of our customers will be excited to reunite with friends and family and we are looking forward to welcoming them onboard, taking to the skies safely in true Virgin Atlantic style.

    The health and wellbeing of our customers and crew remains our number one priority and our teams have been working tirelessly to implement new measures and evolve our experience so customers can feel confident to book and fly with us. This includes social distancing at the airport and onboard wherever possible, meticulous cleaning of the aircraft and individual Health Packs for all customers, containing medical grade face masks, hand sanitizer and surface wipes.”

    Your Health & Wellbeing

    To ensure the health and safety of customers and crew, Virgin Atlantic is implementing additional measures to offer peace of mind in the airport and when taking to 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 in all cabins and lavatories before every flight, ensuring no surface is left untouched.  Safe distancing will also be adhered to wherever possible, and mask wearing will be required throughout the journey. All customers will be provided with a personal Health Pack for their health and safety, which will contain three medical grade face masks to be worn onboard, surface wipes and hand gel. Customers will be given additional space onboard, some seats will not be available, and they will be marked with special pillows.

    The airline will be offering a simplified hot food service in all cabins, redesigned to  limit interaction, enclosed and controlled from preparation in a Covid-safe, monitored environment to the moment it is served. Economy and Premium Economy customers will now enjoy a “Fly safe, eat well” meal box, which incorporates a choice of two hot meals, cheese and biscuits and a dessert pot washed down with a choice of wine, beer, soft drinks and bottled water. Upper Class customers will receive a choice of three hot meals, desserts, including cheese & biscuits and a ciabatta roll, all delivered to their seat on a tray. All customers will receive a second meal service which, on day flights from the UK, includes the delicious Mile High Tea in collaboration with celebrity pâtissier Eric Lanlard

    For more information, please visit www.virginatlantic.com.

  • For more information please contact the Virgin Atlantic Press Office on 01293 747373 or email press.office@fly.virgin.com

    Notes to editors:

    Flight* schedule below:

    Flight No. Effective DateFrequencyDeparture AirportDeparture TimeArrival AirportArrival Time
    VS  30201-Sep-20Tue, Thu, SatLHR10:55DEL23:55
    VS  30302-Sep-20Wed, Fri, SunDEL02:00LHR06:45
    VS  35416-Sep-20Mon, Wed, Thu, SatLHR10:30BOM00:05 (+1)
    VS  35517-Sep-20Tue, Thu, Fri, SunBOM02:15LHR07:00

    *Subject to govt. approvals

    Virgin Atlantic will operate temporarily from Terminal 2 at Heathrow, due to HAL’s terminal consolidation. Virgin Atlantic will return to its much-loved home at London Heathrow Terminal 3 when demand at Heathrow grows, enabling Terminal 3 to reopen.

    The health and safety of our customers and our teams remains our absolute priority onboard, Virgin Atlantic continues to adhere to and often exceed the guidance and regulation of the different authorities involved, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health England (PHE) Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). We are implementing and continually reviewing the following health and safety measures in response to Covid-19:

    At Airports

    • Proactive health screening (via pre-flight online questionnaire and in-person verbal interviews) for all our customers and denying boarding if any questions are answered positively.
    • Encouraging customers to use hand sanitizer stations at the check in and gate area
    • Advocating for the use of temperature checks to be administered upon arrival at the airport for the safety of all our customers and people, working closely with our airport partners to implement this.
    • Adhering to social distancing measures at check in and boarding gates to limit the number of customers in queues to avoid crowding.
    • Encouraging customers to check in online. All airport check in areas and surfaces will be cleaned regularly with high-grade products, tested to be effective against viruses.
    • Working closely with our colleagues at the airports to ensure customers are safe as they pass through security. Security trays will be wiped after use, security teams will be wearing masks and customers can expect reduced lanes in this area to ensure social distancing.
    • All the seating and gate area around boarding will be sanitised to a high standard to offer customers peace of mind as they wait to board their flight.
    • Boarding will be limited to small groups of customers at a time, starting from the back of the aircraft to minimise contact between customers.
    • On boarding, all customers will be asked to scan their own boarding pass and hold up their passport for inspection to minimize contact.
    • All of our people will be wearing face masks when in close contact with our customers.

    Onboard

    • Where possible, ensuring our customers have space onboard. Some seats will not be available and they will be marked with special pillows.
    • All customers will receive a Health Pack – a PPE kit with medical grade masks, surface wipes and hand sanitizer. All customers and our crew will be required to wear their masks for the duration of the flight.
    • Some onboard items will be temporarily removed including Vera, our inflight magazine and our retail therapy service, to minimize contact between customers. Customers can still use our pre-order service from our great range of products in advance of their flight.
    • We will be offering a tasty boxed hot food service in Economy and Premium, enclosed from preparation in a Covid-safe, monitored environment directly to our customers’ seats. Upper Class customers will receive a choice of three hot meals, desserts, including cheese & biscuits, which will be delivered to their seat on a tray.
    • A temporary limited alcohol offering of wine and beer will be offered in all cabins.
    • Meticulous cleaning measures have been put in place, disinfecting the aircraft before each flight, using hospital grade, registered disinfecting product, tested to be highly effective against viruses.
    • Fogging (electrostatic spraying) of high-grade disinfectant in all our cabins before every flight.
    • Dedicated isolation areas in place on each flight for any customers or crew who may potentially present symptoms onboard.
    • All air on board filtered through highly effective High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that remove dust, allergens, bacteria, viruses and other particles from cabin air (testing shows a removal efficiency of 99.999%), with vertical air flow, refreshing cabin air completely every 2-3 minutes.

    For more information on our cleaning processes, please visit https://flywith.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/youre-in-safe-hands.html 

    Proactive health screening (via pre-flight online questionnaire and in-person verbal interviews) for all our customers and denying boarding if any questions are answered positively. Encouraging customers to use hand sanitizer stations at the check in and gate area Advocating for the use of temperature checks to be administered upon arrival at the airport for the safety of all our customers and people, working closely with our airport partners to implement this.Adhering to social distancing measures at check in and boarding gates to limit the number of customers in queues to avoid crowding.Encouraging customers to check in online. All airport check in areas and surfaces will be cleaned regularly with high-grade products, tested to be effective against viruses.Working closely with our colleagues at the airports to ensure customers are safe as they pass through security. Security trays will be wiped after use, security teams will be wearing masks and customers can expect reduced lanes in this area to ensure social distancing.All the seating and gate area around boarding will be sanitised to a high standard to offer customers peace of mind as they wait to board their flight.Boarding will be limited to small groups of customers at a time, starting from the back of the aircraft to minimise contact between customers.On boarding, all customers will be asked to scan their own boarding pass and hold up their passport for inspection to minimize contact. All of our people will be wearing face masks when in close contact with our customers.