Virgin Atlantic will increase flights to the US on November 8th to coincide with the border reopening. With fully vaccinated travelers now allowed to fly to the US, Virgin will restore flights to Orlando and Las Vegas and up services to New York. Let’s find out more about the carrier’s plans.
Virgin Atlantic is sending its largest jet, to Orlando to cater to the pent-up demand. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
Back on the map
After being closed for 20 months, the US is finally reopening its borders to travelers from around the globe. This is excellent news for transatlantic-dependent carrier Virgin Atlantic, which is planning on resuming a flurry of new routes on November 8th. Passengers are equally excited, with Virgin deploying its largest jet on the London-Orlando route to cater to the demand.
Flights from London Heathrow and Manchester to Orlando will both resume on the 8th as daily services. Las Vegas will also be reconnected to the UK capital every day using the Boeing 787-9. Both of these are highly popular leisure destinations and critical markets for Virgin throughout the year.
The airline is also relaunching flights from Manchester to New York, flying six times weekly in November (no Sunday flights) and daily from December onward. This will provide better connectivity from the north of England and boost traffic. So are passengers looking forward to these resumptions?
Ready to go
If there are any doubts about the demand to fly to the US, Virgin Atlantic can see them. Services to Orlando are currently “the most booked across Virgin Atlantic’s global portfolio.” To cope, the airline is flying the A350-1000 from November 8th to 14th. After that, the LHR-ORD route will switch back to the A330.
The US border policies have left families and friends separated for almost two years, making this announcement an important one. With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, hundreds of thousands will be taking to the skies to visit their loved ones again. For airlines, this will open up the largest market and clear the way for a full recovery to begin.
Currently, Virgin is flying to New York, Boston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami. While cargo kept these routes afloat for the last 18 months, now passengers will be filling planes too. However, this is subject to some conditions.
Fully vaccinated only
Similar to countries globally, the US will require all foreigners to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter. All FDA or WHO-approved vaccines will be accepted for travel when proved with a certificate. While unvaccinated American residents can still return, they will be subjected to stricter testing rules.
Overall, passengers and carriers are counting down the days to the US border reopening, and everything is on the line.