Virgin Atlantic looking for cash injection & route cuts and cancellations
Virgin has announced its cuts for lockdown with the airline has temporarily cancelling its Manchester-Barbados route, with passengers moved onto its four-times-weekly Heathrow-Barbados service. I have seen some travellers who have received no assistance getting from Heathrow to Manchester, and as yet no reimbursement for previous cancellations. If you are rescheduled to Heathrow and Virgin do not supply you with transport to get home, you entitled to claim reasonable expenses incurred in getting home.
Virgin has also reduced frequencies on a number of Heathrow services: Los Angeles drops from seven flights a week to five; Antigua, Delhi and Tel Aviv to two; Mumbai and Boston two weekly and Miami from two to one.
“We recognise Covid-19 is an extremely dynamic situation, and that’s why we’re continually reviewing our flying programme, monitoring the travel restrictions the UK government and our destination countries have in place,” said a Virgin spokesperson to TTG Media.
Virgin has confirmed passengers booked on cancelled flights would have the option to rebook or request a refund. As I reported earlier, Virgin will automatically refund you by voucher and you do NOT have to accept this for cancelled flights. You can request a full refund via the original method of payment.
Understandably the airline is now looking for further financial help given the current rising number of COVID cases. The UK government seems to be throwing out guarantees for loans to airlines willy-nilly after saying that they would only do it as a last resort. Both BA (£2 billion) and Easyjet ($1.87 billion with a partial UK government guarantee) have received government-guaranteed loans since the start of the year. It will be interesting to see if the government is willing to guarantee a loan for Virgin as well.
The Telegraph has reported that the airline is in talks with US private equity firm Bain Capital to sell two of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners and then lease them back.
An airline spokesperson told The Telegraph “We are confident that Virgin Atlantic will emerge from the Covid-19 crisis a sustainably profitable airline, with a healthy balance sheet.”
Israel hopes to welcome back tourists this summer
Dubai taken off UK travel corridor list
It appears I jinxed Dubai by saying it was on the current UK travel corridor list! Scotland has now removed Dubai but not the whole of the UAE from their list. As usual, England are several steps behind and have now also added the whole of the UAE. From 0400 Tuesday 12 January anyone arriving from the UAE will need to self-isolate. The UAE cases have almost doubled over the last week. They are, however, way below the UK rate and everyone will soon have to test before entering Dubai and on the way back. Now you will have to do a minimum of 5 days quarantine as well on return if you can afford a third test, if not it’s 10 days. Apparently, there were clusters of people testing positive on return from Dubai.
Here is a recap of the rates of COVID per country as of 7 January.
With a weekly travel corridor update due later today, I believe we’ll hear details on #UK border controls and testing as well? Our latest chart shows substantial movement, especially rising rates in #Cyprus #Sweden and #UAE. #COVID19 @ThePCAgency pic.twitter.com/AisPwqjbxf
— Paul Charles (@PPaulCharles) January 7, 2021