Virgin flights to remain grounded ‘at least until August’

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Virgin Atlantic will not resume flights until at least August following the announcement that the UK will introduce a 14-day quarantine period for all arrivals from June 8.

The airline had intended to restart its scheduled programme next month, but it said the mandatory quarantine would dampen demand for travel.

British Airways parent IAG has suggested it will operate a reduced programme until the quarantine is lifted, but Ryanair said it will run 40% of its flights in July after Spain announced it was lifting its 14-day quarantine on July 1.

A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic said: “The safety and security of our people and our customers is always our top priority and public health must come first.

“However, by introducing a mandatory 14-day self-isolation for every single traveller entering the UK, the government’s approach will prevent flights from resuming.

“We are continually reviewing our flying programme and with these restrictions, there simply won’t be sufficient demand to resume passenger services before August at the earliest.

“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 a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, which will allow for a successful and safe restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses.”