British Airways announce more routes to resume & Gatwick update
London City Airport has announced British Airways subsidiary BA CityFlyer will resume some routes from London City Airport to Ibiza, Florence, Málaga and Palma this summer.
The airline will also be recommencing domestic flights to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin.
The first flight at the airport since operations were suspended at the end of March, in direct response to the Covid-19 crisis, was BA3287 on Sunday 21 June. BA CityFlyer will reconnect the Isle of Man and London with daily flights between London City Airport and Douglas. It now appears that this service may only be temporary as the route is currently withdrawn from sale from September onwards.
Commenting, London City Airport CEO Robert Sinclair, said:
“The restart of some services at London City Airport by our home-based carrier, British Airways, is good news for business and leisure passengers and we hope signals the start of the road towards a recovery. We believe there is demand from passengers to get back to flying and we have worked hard to make that possible – putting in place appropriate measures to make the airport safe and working closely with British Airways to restore some popular routes and important connections. We are looking forward to flights beginning to re-start and working with British Airways to grow passenger volumes and build on their route network in time as confidence returns.”
There is also some mystery over when BA’s Gatwick services are likely to resume. This is probably due to the government’s announcement that is due on 29 June regarding air bridges. BA has tentatively made plans to resume short-haul on 15 July and long haul on 17 July from Gatwick, but will not make a final decision until 30 June after the government announcements.
Virgin Atlantic announces its plan to restart flying to 17 more destinations
Following the airline’s announcement that services from London Heathrow are expected to resume from 20th July 2020 onwards, Virgin Atlantic has unveiled more detailed plans. If you look at these, it’s pretty obvious that some are quite speculative with travel bans still in place in some of the destinations. Virgin Atlantic is also still in rescue talks with the government and potential investors.
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic commented: “As countries around the world begin to relax travel restrictions, we look forward to welcoming our customers back onboard and flying them safely to many destinations across our network. From 20th July we are planning to resume some services and then from 1st August onwards, we will resume passenger flying to 17 additional destinations around the world including Tel Aviv, Miami, Lagos and San Francisco,”
“However, we are monitoring external conditions extremely closely, in particular the travel restrictions many countries have in place including the 14 day quarantine policy for travellers entering the UK. We know that as the Covid-19 crisis subsides, air travel will be a vital enabler of the UK’s economic recovery. Therefore, we are calling for UK Government to continually review its quarantine measures and instead look at a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, including air bridges, which will support a successful and safe restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses.”
Virgin Atlantic planned return to flying from London Heathrow Terminal 2
|Planned restart date||Routes|
|20th July 2020||London Heathrow to Hong Kong|
|21st July 2020||London Heathrow to New York JFK, Los Angeles|
|1st August 2020||London Heathrow to Barbados|
|4th August 2020||London Heathrow to Shanghai|
|4th August 2020||London Heathrow to San Francisco|
|9th August 2020||London Heathrow to Tel Aviv|
|18th August 2020||London Heathrow to Miami|
|23rd August 2020||London Heathrow to Lagos|
|24th August 2020||London Heathrow and Manchester to Orlando (subject to CDC approval*)|
|25th August 2020||London Heathrow to Atlanta|
|September 2020||London Heathrow to Washington, Seattle, Las Vegas|
|September 2020||London Heathrow to Mumbai, Delhi|
|September 2020||London Heathrow to Johannesburg|
|October 2020||London Heathrow to Boston|
|October 2020||London Heathrow to Montego Bay, Antigua, Grenada and Tobago (via Antigua)|
|October 2020||Manchester to Barbados|
Virgin Atlantic will operate temporarily from Terminal 2 at Heathrow, due to the terminal consolidation (only Terminals 2 and 5 are currently operating). Virgin Atlantic will return to its home at London Heathrow Terminal 3 when demand at Heathrow grows, enabling Terminal 3 to reopen.
Virgin Atlantic has taken the decision to delay the restart of its London Heathrow to Orlando service and it will now resume on 24th August 2020. I would still take this with a pinch of salt as the US is still closed to those that have been in the UK or Europe in the last 14 days. Also Orlando is not an approved airport for international flights currently.
Seasonal services from Glasgow and Belfast to Orlando will resume for selected dates in summer 2021. Virgin expect more flights from London Heathrow and Manchester to resume in September and October 2020.