This week, Virgin Atlantic has cut 32% of the flights it planned to operate in July, based on its latest schedule submission to data company Cirium. Last week, it had expected 1,033 round-trip services, but this has been fallen to 705. This means the number of available seats next month has fallen by 89,000. We see what’s happening.
The lack of an air corridor between the UK and the USA is a major stumbling block. So too is the fact that the US has placed the UK on the ‘reconsider travel’ list, while all travelers arriving in the UK from the North American country must quarantine. Last week, we showed that Heathrow had just 675,000 passengers in May – 10% of what it normally would have.
What has Virgin cut?
Virgin has pulled seven routes that were due to operate next month, as follows. Most significant is Heathrow to Orlando. Last week, the 4,336-mile service was to have 60 round-trip flights in July with 16,000 seats, but now none. However, at the time of writing, all seven routes are due to resume on either August 5th, 6th, 9th, or 10th – very far into the peak summer season.
Heathrow to Orlando: 60 round-trip flights in July – now zero
Heathrow – Seattle: 50 – now zero
Heathrow – San Francisco: 30 – now zero
Manchester – New York JFK: 30 – now zero
Manchester – Atlanta: 30 – now zero
Heathrow – Las Vegas: 28 – now zero
Manchester – Los Angeles: 12 – now zero
Manchester versus Heathrow
Last week, Virgin had planned to operate 138 flights to/from Manchester in July. However, all have now been effectively wiped out, showing how close to operating changes are being made. Just two routes are bookable, with one service to Orlando (July 18th) and Barbados (July 21st).
In contrast, Heathrow flights are down by 21%, from 895 to 703. Not only have four routes, mentioned above, been pushed back, but Boston, Miami, Atlanta, and New York JFK have seen the number of July flights cut up by to 15% this week.
But it would have been even worse if Virgin didn’t have a broader, more diversified network from Heathrow. For example, Barbados now has more July flights planned this week than last because of the country entering the UK’s green list. Indeed, Virgin also benefits from serving Tel Aviv, with Israel on the UK’s green list, while Lagos was Heathrow’s number-one international destination in May.
Where will Virgin be flying at the end of July?
Looking ahead to the week starting July 19th, Virgin has the following routes – all currently bookable. However, service to Hong Kong is likely to change, given that it has just emerged that Hong Kong will ban UK flights from the start of July.
Heathrow to New York JFK: 14 weekly departures
Heathrow – Boston: 7 weekly
Heathrow – Hong Kong: 7 weekly
Heathrow – Miami: 7 weekly
Heathrow – Los Angeles: 7 weekly
Heathrow – Barbados: 7 weekly (two continue to Grenada)
Heathrow – Atlanta: 7 weekly
Heathrow – Lagos: 7 weekly
Heathrow – Tel Aviv: 7 weekly
Heathrow – Antigua: 4 weekly
Delhi – Heathrow: 3 weekly (only bookable to Heathrow)
Heathrow – Islamabad: 3 weekly
Heathrow – Montego Bay: 3 weekly
Heathrow – Johannesburg: 3 weekly
Heathrow – Lahore: 3 weekly
Mumbai – Heathrow: 2 weekly (only bookable to Heathrow)
Manchester – Barbados: 1 weekly
Heathrow to Barbados is operated by the 264-seat B787-9. Two flights a week continue to Grenada, a distance of 172 miles, before returning to Heathrow via Barbados.
Will you be flying Virgin or any other airline to Heathrow or Manchester this year? Let us know in the comments.
S: Simple Flying
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