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#957950 by LREDI
11 Nov 2020, 21:22
So my general thoughts right now...

I expect we'll see a small recovery into Summer 21 with more demand through Winter 21. I see Winter 21 as being much more buoyant than usual expectations, make no mistake, people WILL travel and timing may vary more than usual - many organisations are allowing holiday allowances from 2020 to carry into 2021. This will help some of Virgins routes to India, HK and Pakistan given travel to see family. I foresee US will reopen in Summer 21 after they have enough vaccination capacity. Remember there are 40+ vaccines in testing at present.

The pent up demand for travel I feel will surprise people, even with the impacts of the economic slowdown. CV19 hasn't impacted some sectors as badly as others. Financial Services reopening will be key for NYLON - Summer 21 would be my bet on that.

I'd also watch for UK Gov incentives - I'd watch APD - a quick win to increase travellers and boost the industry.

VS will survive - huge amount of opportunity - things like Pharma ability for Cargo will be important - vaccine cargo etc.
#957951 by Hev60
11 Nov 2020, 23:57
VS075 wrote: I'm thinking it's still going to be many months, probably more likely 2022, before things are closer to normal. It's indeed good news and a cause for optimism that the Pfizer vaccine is getting positive results, but it still needs regulatory approval and then the small matter of manufacturing and distributing them in their millions. I know there's also other vaccines under development which, if equally as successful, will help get the global population vaccinated more quickly. I believe the UK government have contracts signed with 5 consortiums alone for vaccines providing they're successful and achieve regulatory approval.

I just hope VS can hold out until then and, in the short-term, hope the new routes they're intending to launch are successful. If anything, the pandemic has proven VS were perhaps wrong to put most of their eggs in one basket, so to speak.

As for the US border, I think Mr Biden will have more pressing issues in his in-tray to deal with first once he gets the keys to the White House, though he seems to be saying the right things so far with what he intends to do to get a grip on COVID in the US. Even if the borders were open, I haven't really felt comfortable travelling over there at this time anyway given their record of handling it so far (not that the UK has been perfect mind, but at least I won't get charged for going into hospital!) and I was relieved but gutted in equal measure that my planned trip to Florida in September was cancelled for me.


I couldn’t agree more with your comments, especially the last paragraph.

A few days ago I actually re-read this whole thread going back to March 3rd.
It makes sad reading and sent shivers right through me again.

Unfortunately I was stranded in the US when Trump suddenly closed their borders to uk visitors on March 14th. The fear at that point was indescribable and I shall never ever forget the wonderful efforts of Virgin Atlantic to get us home.

I personally would need to be 101% certain that America had got this corona virus under control before I made any plans to visit again, vaccines or not. Watching their news today about the record number new cases and sadly record daily deaths, that isn’t going happen soon. President-elect Biden will have no powers to get a grip on this virus in his country until after January 20th! It would need a miracle for them to have a ‘safe’ country by the summer or early winter 2021.

It sounds negative but realistic in my opinion. Virgin Atlantic will survive and they will fly us happy ‘flyers’ across the Atlantic once again.

We all have to be patient. I’m praying that by March 2022 the world will be a better place. I’m hoping by then to get my tennis fix in California and then fly over into Orlando to soak up the Disney 50th Anniversary ;-)
#958064 by Fuzzy14
23 Nov 2020, 14:52
I've just read this entire thread again, what an interesting time capsule and how our thoughts and perceptions have changed as the pandemic progressed.

Even though I had my holidays cancelled twice this year, feeling more buoyant about next year especially given the vaccine news. It was the results of the Oxford vaccine today that's really given me confidence as that will be the mainstay of the NHS response given it's lower cost and easier handling.

I've now re-booked for June 2021 and I'm now sure it will go ahead the only question will be if proof of vaccine will be required to enter USA and if social distancing will still be in place, time will tell.

My only other 'concern' (and in these days it's very very minor) is if/when MCO flights will be moved back to LGW.
#958084 by VS075
24 Nov 2020, 14:45
Fuzzy14 wrote:I've just read this entire thread again, what an interesting time capsule and how our thoughts and perceptions have changed as the pandemic progressed.

Even though I had my holidays cancelled twice this year, feeling more buoyant about next year especially given the vaccine news. It was the results of the Oxford vaccine today that's really given me confidence as that will be the mainstay of the NHS response given it's lower cost and easier handling.

I've now re-booked for June 2021 and I'm now sure it will go ahead the only question will be if proof of vaccine will be required to enter USA and if social distancing will still be in place, time will tell.

My only other 'concern' (and in these days it's very very minor) is if/when MCO flights will be moved back to LGW.


Agree with much of what you say.

Like I said the other week, I'm not sure Mr Biden's first priority will be to re-open the borders, however I'm anticipating proof of vaccination to be commonplace for many countries in the short-term like it is already in some places where, for example, they mandate a Yellow Fever Certificate as part of the visa application. I also want to see Biden get a proper handle on the virus once he takes office, something which isn't going to be quick going by experience of how slowly infection rates and daily cases drops elsewhere, including the UK.

As for LGW, I'm not sure a return is going to be the priority for VS in the short-term until there's a more sustained recovery meaning they can use the LHR slots for something else. Being absent from LGW doesn't affect me as I only had reason to use LGW when I lived in the South East for a short while about 10 years ago, but I can see how it affects some regular posters on here and other travellers.
#958102 by gumshoe
25 Nov 2020, 12:06
Some potentially big news: Reuters is reporting that the White House is considering lifting the Presidential Proclamation that’s prevented most Brits entering the US since March.

However, as the article points out, it’s still far from certain: “President Donald Trump has not made a final decision and the timing remains uncertain. Trump may still opt not to lift the restrictions, given the high number of coronavirus infections in Europe. One potential hurdle is the fact that European countries are not likely to immediately allow most Americans to resume visits.”

The full article is here: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN2851EP
#958189 by christ0r
30 Nov 2020, 22:26
Hi everyone,

I was looking at my FC account (got a flight in Jan which I hope to be able to take!) and wasn't sure where to see the new expiry date (or even the old expiry date) for my account. Everywhere I look no date is posted.

Is there something I'm missing, or is this how it is for everyone?

Thanks!
#958190 by gumshoe
30 Nov 2020, 23:08
christ0r wrote:Hi everyone,

I was looking at my FC account (got a flight in Jan which I hope to be able to take!) and wasn't sure where to see the new expiry date (or even the old expiry date) for my account. Everywhere I look no date is posted.

Is there something I'm missing, or is this how it is for everyone?

Thanks!


Unlike the old miles, the new Virgin Points don’t expire.
#958273 by mitchja
05 Dec 2020, 11:57
When you log in using a full desktop browser, your expiry date should be in the middle of your account summery page.

Mine currently says:

To remain a Gold member you will need to earn an additional 520 tier points by 30 September 2021.


VS extended all accounts by 12 months as my original expiry date was Sept 2020.
#958325 by ColOrd
08 Dec 2020, 00:17
samfarmer wrote:Seems like a lifetime ago when I started this thread. I had a flight booked to NY and ACTUALLY thought I’d be taking it !!


I remember being in the office the week that Lockdown was announced, myself and our MD were doing some work and both assumed that this would be a couple of week thing. That night I booked flights for myself and my best friend to Seattle in Upper for £1300 for my Birthday at the end of September as the prices all started to crash. I didn't even contemplate that that this trip wouldn't take place. Its rebooked next year for the same time, and I'm relatively confident, but I would never have assumed that T3 would still be closed, or the pain we went through of potentially loosing so many good people from VS, or indeed even nearly loosing the airline all together!
#958517 by flyingfox
18 Dec 2020, 11:24
Update from VS trade;

We continue to monitor the ongoing Covid-19 situation and global travel restrictions very carefully and changing demand for travel. As a result, we have decided to make additional schedule changes which will affect our Winter Flying programme in the first part of 2021.

We are reducing frequencies on several routes and to ensure impacted passengers can continue with their travel plans, they will be reprotected to the most suitable alternative departure.

Unfortunately, we have also taken the difficult decision to delay the re-start of the flights detailed in the table below. Because of limited operations to these destinations, there will be no reprotection option available, these sectors will appear as UN.

Route Travel Dates

MAN - MCO Up to and including 17 Mar 21
LHR - MCO Up to and including 17 Mar 21
LHR - HAV Up to and including 27 Mar 21
LHR - LAS Up to and including 16 Mar 21
LHR – SFO. Up to and including 5 Feb 21
LHR – IAD. Up to and including 5 Feb 21
LHR – SEA Up to and including 5 Feb 21

The only updated flight schedule I could find was the VS cargo rotations in January;
https://www.virginatlanticcargo.com/con ... hedule.pdf
#958524 by flyingfox
18 Dec 2020, 22:31
The Telegraph is reporting that Trump could sign an Executive Order as early as Tuesday on opening up UK - US travel

Selected extracts from behind the firewall;

Donald Trump could lift the US travel ban on the UK and Europe as early as next week, say industry and aviation sources.

The US Department of Homeland Security is understood to have recommended the move which could be authorised by the President through an executive order next Tuesday, according to senior sources in the travel industry.

The plan has won the backing of White House coronavirus task-force members, public health and other federal agencies, according to officials, but Mr Trump has yet to make a final decision and sign it off.

Many administration officials argue the restrictions no longer make sense given that most other countries around the world are not subject to the entry ban.

Although coronavirus has seen a resurgence in the UK and Europe, the US still has some of the highest rates.

They contend lifting the restrictions would be a boost to struggling US airlines, which have seen international travel fall by 70 per cent, according to airline industry data.

It would be left to US states to determine the quarantine restrictions or test requirements that they would impose on non-US arrivals into the country.

Britain requires any US or other arriving passengers from countries without a travel corridor to quarantine for ten days, unless they are tested negative from the fifth day onwards.

Although these restrictions would not change, any move to lift the US travel ban would be a major filip for attempts to revive flights between the US and UK - and particularly on the high-value New York-London route.

“It would significantly boost confidence in the travel sector in order to get global business moving and help open up.”

The London-New York route is the busiest in the world, accounting for five per cent of all flights in and out of Heathrow. US flights overall account for 20 per cent of Heathrow's capacity.


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/1 ... next-week/

Reuters now reporting ;
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-healt ... KKBN28S2YA
Last edited by flyingfox on 18 Dec 2020, 23:15, edited 1 time in total.
#958525 by Hev60
18 Dec 2020, 23:08
“The Telegraph is reporting that Trump could sign an Executive Order as early as Tuesday on opening up UK - US travel”

Omg I cannot believe this news but obviously with the Trump name involved I guess it’s hardly surprising!

I’m currently watching a US news channel where it shows the COVID figures so far today are 169,113 new cases and sadly 2023 deaths. It’s only around 5pm eastern time and 2pm on the west side. Those horrible figures will be much higher at the end of the day.

Yes the economy is important but why would anyone want to step foot in a place where the virus is totally out of control and cases resemble a tsunami surge each and every day.

This news has not been mentioned on the network though and any related articles around the web about this, all come back to the Telegraph source. Personally I am hoping that’s “fake news” !!!!
#958547 by VS075
20 Dec 2020, 16:47
With various European nations rushing to close their borders to UK travellers this weekend due to the new strain of COVID that’s doing the rounds (particularly in London and South East England), would Trump really go against the grain right now by lifting the current restrictions, or is he not interested given he won’t be President for much longer?
#958574 by flyingfox
22 Dec 2020, 13:19
Update from VS trade ;

We are aware that an increasing number of countries around the world are placing travel restrictions on flights originating from the UK. As a result, it has been necessarily to temporarily suspend passenger services to some of our destinations.

Flight Disruption

Cancellations Effective Until
LHR-MBJ-LHR 4 January
LHR-GND-LHR 4 January
LHR-HKG 31 December
LHR-DEL-LHR 31 December
LHR-BOM-LHR 31 December

This remains a dynamic and fast-moving situation and we’re very grateful for all our customers’ patience.

We will continue to keep our website up to date with all the latest updates to schedule and travel restrictions.

We encourage agents with customers booked to travel over the next few days to check the official Government advice for the UK and the destination, before heading to the airport.

Please ensure up to date traveller contact information is available within the booking.

Travel to USA

We will be implementing new pre-departure Covid-19 testing for all customers travelling from London to the United States from Thursday 24 December. With the health and safety of our customers and people always our number one priority, we will require all travellers to present evidence of a negative LAMP or PCR Covid-19 test, taken up to 72 hours prior to departure, including on-site at the airport.
#958589 by flyingfox
23 Dec 2020, 14:13
Another update from VS trade ;

UK-USA Pre-Departure Testing

From Thursday 24 December all customers travelling from London Heathrow to the United States, aged five years and above, will be required to present evidence of a negative PCR or LAMP Covid-19 test, taken up to 72 hours prior to departure.

Virgin Atlantic currently operates US flights from Heathrow to New York-JFK, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston and Atlanta.

The health and safety of our customers and people remains our number one priority and this new testing requirement adds to a range of rigorous, multi-layered health and safety measures to ensure that you and everyone on board flies safe and well.

Travellers should seek to arrange this test prior to arriving at the airport, however if they wish to use the Heathrow Airport testing facility, please allow plenty of additional time to complete this and book in advance via the Collinson website.

A list of recommended test providers with other reputable test providers will be accepted, in order to ensure NHS resources are not diverted, please note that NHS tests are not accepted.

If travellers opt for a LAMP test at the airport facility and receive a positive result, they'll need to return home or to alternative UK accommodation to self-isolate for 10 days.  The Covid-19 Cover included with the ticket, provided by Allianz Assistance, covers up to £3,000 for accommodation, transport charges, refreshments and other travel expenses. 

Travellers can rebook to travel any time up to 31st December 2022. We won't charge a date change fee, and fare difference won’t apply if the new travel date is before 31 March 2021. If it’s a new travel date from 1 April 2021 onwards, we'll waive any fare difference up to £60 in Economy, £120 in Premium and £350 in Upper Class.

We're really grateful to for your support in ensuring traveller compliance with this mandatory testing requirement, which is so important to ensure smooth and safe journeys between the UK and the USA this holiday season, in advance of a widely-available Covid-19 vaccine.
#958815 by gumshoe
10 Jan 2021, 20:15
This winter was always going to be bleak for VS, even before the onset of the new variants and the new lockdown. But I’m guessing the previous rescue deal was based on the assumption that the US would reopen and things would pick up in the spring/summer. That’s now looking more and more unlikely and while I very much hope I’m wrong, I fear 2021 is looking just as bad for long-haul travel as 2020.
#958914 by flyingfox
15 Jan 2021, 15:54
Update from VS Trade;

There continues to be ongoing disruption to travel following the national lockdown in the UK and travel restrictions to many of the countries we operate to.

As a result of the dynamic and fast-moving travel environment, we continue to make schedule changes which will affect our Flying Programme the coming weeks. We are reducing frequencies on several routes and to ensure impacted passengers can continue with their travel plans, they will be reprotected to the most suitable alternative departure. Unfortunately, we have also taken the difficult decision to cancel some flights. Because of limited operations to these destinations, there will be no reprotection option available.

The following flights are cancelled:
Cancellations Effective Until

LHR-MBJ-LHR 28 February

MAN-BGI-MAN 28 February

LHR-GND-LHR 28 February

LHR-ANU-LHR 28 February

LHR-HKG-LHR 9 February

LHR-PVG-LHR 9 February

LHR-CPT-LHR 28 February

LHR-JNB-LHR 9 February


During February we plan to maintain operations on the following routes, subject to late changes:
Operating Frequency

Caribbean LHR-BGI-LHR 2 per week

USA
LHR-ATL-LHR 3 per week

LHR-BOS-LHR 2 per week

LHR-JFK-LHR 7 per week

LHR-LAX-LHR 5 per week

LHR-MIA-LHR 1 per week

India
LHR-BOM-LHR 3 per week

LHR-DEL-LHR 2 per week

Pakistan
LHR-LHE-LHR 4 per week

LHR-ISB-LHR. 3 per week

MAN-ISB-MAN. 4 per week

China &
Hong Kong
LHR-HKG-LHR 3 per week **subject to travel restrictions lifting**

LHR-PVG-LHR 2 per week **subject to travel restrictions lifting**

South Africa
LHR-JNB-LHR 7 per week **subject to travel restrictions lifting**

Nigeria
LHR-LOS-LHR 7 per week

Israel
LHR-TLV-LHR 2 per week
#958929 by David
16 Jan 2021, 09:25
I wonder if the demise of Norwegians long haul service might help Virgin appear back at Gatwick again a little quicker.

Whilst not wishing this on any employees, but this must help Virgins market share when travel starts to get back to normal, not withstanding the latest Border closures.

David
Virgin Atlantic

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