the tail of an airplane

The conversation is beginning to shift from whether it’s “ok” to book future travel, to when we can all go. Ideally, soon. Accordingly, a confident Virgin Atlantic has pushed out a new travel schedule, with increased frequencies and even some new destinations on the horizon. For many around the world, it’s a sign of optimism in aviation that’s well received…

a large white airplane on a runwayVirgin Atlantic 2020/2021 Flying Schedule

Virgin Atlantic is doubling down on new destinations, with twice daily flights to Tel Aviv from summer 2021. In addition, the airline has announced continued seasonal flights direct from Glasgow and Belfast to Orlando, Florida, broadening the appeal to travelers outside of the UK’s Southeast.

One perennial fan favorite can’t come soon enough, with Cape Town coming online and expanding the network. The daily flight will challenge British Airways, which operates the only direct flights between the two cities, and with any hope will lead to price drops for passengers.

a street with palm trees and buildingsPopular destinations including the Caribbean will move over to Heathrow, creating a more refined experience, particularly for Upper Class passengers who can now enjoy the Upper Class Wing, and Virgin Clubhouse.

Virgin Atlantic will fly with one of the younger fleets in the skies with a mix of Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Airbus A350-1000 and Airbus A330’s, following the recent retirements of Boeing 747 and Airbus A340-600 aircraft, which fell victim to dwindling demand and high operating costs.

From March 28th, 2021, Virgin Atlantic plans to fly from…

London Heathrow (LHR) to…

  • Antigua
  • Atlanta
  • Barbados
  • Boston
  • Cape Town
  • Delhi
  • Grenada
  • Havana
  • Hong Kong
  • Johannesburg
  • Lagos
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Montego Bay
  • Mumbai
  • New York JFK
  • Orlando
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Shanghai
  • Tobago
  • Tel Aviv
  • Washington

From Manchester (MAN) to…

  • Atlanta
  • Barbados
  • Los Angeles
  • New York JFK
  • Orlando

And from Belfast and Glasgow to…

  • Orlando (seasonal)

virgin atlantic a350 wing tipPositive Vibes Ahead?

News today of Richard Branson securing up to $500 million for the airline via Virgin Galactic share sales has many in the airline industry singing a more positive tune. Countries are beginning to open borders and look at effective ways to mitigate risks while reintroducing the vital travel industry. in Europe alone, travel represents 27 million jobs.

As lock downs lift and initially awkward first encounters with friends feel more normal, so too will the thought of getting on a plane and going somewhere. Travel may require a few more steps before you’ll be allowed to board, but many see travel mostly reverting to normal by the end of the year. With holidays to plan and family to see, one can only hope.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. I’m amazed LAS has gone from MAN and that MAN – BOM seems to have dropped off their radar.

  2. Someone at Virgin is taking drugs. Flying as we know, or knew it won’t be coming back for at least five years. Until a vaccine for Covid-19 is available expect to stay at home a lot more. Who can afford to fly somewhere and then self quarantine for 14 days? And it’s impossible to have social distancing on a commercial plane, so flights are going to be unaffordable to most, or you’ll have to sign a waiver saying you agree to put your life in danger. As much as I like Virgin, this is unrealistic, and maybe even delusional. Don’t get me wrong, I would love nothing more for this crazy crisis to come to an end. But I believe we’re in for a long, painful return to anything resembling a normal world. Best of luck to them though.

      1. One of the big stumbling blocks may be getting travel insurance. Many insurance companies are specifically excluding coronavirus cover from all future bookings.

  3. I should be going to Cuba from LHR in September, if the holiday is cancelled, I cannot see it on the schedule for next year, has it been totally dropped?

  4. Gilbert, my dour assessment isn’t because I’m a pessimist. I read your piece about the future of air travel and this piece about Virgin. I really pray for a future like you and Virgin are proposing. But I have been suffering from Covid-19 now for seven weeks. Every day I am on the phone or zoom with Doctors. They tell me they don’t understand why I have this damned virus for such a length of time. They also admit to me that they really don’t understand the virus at all. It seems to keep mutating and several doctors have told me they fear the worst is yet to come. They also believe a second wave will hit soon and it may be worse that what we’ve been experiencing. I’m eager to book a Virgin Atlantic flight and enjoy Upper Class again. But I’ve always believed it’s smart to hope for the best, but don’t be surprised if you get the worst. And I will be thrilled to be proven wrong. I’ll eat my words, hopefully they will be served by a member of a Virgin Atlantic flight crew whisking me back to London just before I put my seat into flatbed mode.

    1. Cal, wishing you all the very best and a speedy recovery. It’s an odd, scary and life changing virus and obviously you understand that more than most right now. I think it’s good to layout a positive schedule and if things don’t line up, can always amend. I know many are looking toward safe returns and have hope that testing will make a huge difference in that pursuit. I hope both of us are back on board in due time. Very best to you.

  5. Virgin are trying to stop people cancelling holiday even though they know they will lose their deposit.

    I have sent a letter by registered post and they are avoiding responding. They are trying to get me to pay the full payment. All emails yo them are bouncing back..

  6. I am meant to be going to Florida in July and I have paid the full balance what’s the chances of going and if I don’t go will I get all of my money back as I can’t go next year

  7. I have fully paid for a holiday to Cuba flying out on the 27th June 2020. When will I know if it is going ahead as planned as arrangements for injections are required.

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