- The airline launches passenger flights to Hong Kong on 20th July after a three month pause due to Covid-19, with flights to New York and Los Angeles resuming on 21st July
- Virgin Atlantic has taken every precaution to protect customers, so they can fly safe and fly well and be confident to take to the skies again
- Customers will receive hot meals and a choice of wine, beer and soft drinks on every flight
- The airline has enhanced its meticulous cleaning regime to include electrostatic disinfectant fogging of the aircraft and individual Health Packs for all customers including medical grade face masks, hand sanitizer and surface wipes
After a three month hiatus, Virgin Atlantic will be welcoming customers back onboard this evening with the first passenger flight departing London Heathrow to Hong Kong. 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.
Corneel Koster, Chief Customer Officer, Virgin Atlantic commented: “We will always ensure that health and safety remain our number one priority, whilst keeping our signature Virgin spirit and I am proud of all our teams who have been working tirelessly to implement new measures and evolve our customer experience. We are looking forward to welcoming customers back onboard, taking them to the skies safely and in true Virgin Atlantic style.”
“The health and wellbeing of our customers and crew is at the centre of all our operations and that 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.”
As travel restrictions around the world start to relax and customer demand increases, Virgin Atlantic will add more routes back into its network. Hong Kong, New York JFK and Los Angeles will be amongst the first destinations to restart with further routes added throughout August, September and October.
Notes to editors:
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). Virgin Atlantic are implementing and continually reviewing the following health and safety measures in response to Covid-19:
- 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.
- 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