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#962308 by Q_Division
11 Oct 2021, 14:59
I suspect VIR75L is looking at a flight similar to mine (late November) which is now departing at 10:00. Although my landing time has been push later, don't think I've ever had a 10hr flight time to MCO.
#962313 by VS075
13 Oct 2021, 09:39
The longer flight times is because the 747's that are now gone used to fly at a faster cruising speed than the A330's, so block times have to factor that in. I'm not sure how fast 787's and A350's are in comparison, but it can also vary on the day due to factors such as traffic at origin/destination, weather, routing due to North Atlantic tracks changing daily etc.
#962317 by 747G-VXLG
13 Oct 2021, 19:11
VS075 wrote:The longer flight times is because the 747's that are now gone used to fly at a faster cruising speed than the A330's, so block times have to factor that in. I'm not sure how fast 787's and A350's are in comparison, but it can also vary on the day due to factors such as traffic at origin/destination, weather, routing due to North Atlantic tracks changing daily etc.


I think the A350s are about the same as the 747s and the Dreamliner are a little slower.
#962320 by VIR75L
14 Oct 2021, 09:31
Does anyone have any indications of how long Virgin will be leaving flights before they start to cancel them if no US announcement comes imminently?

Two weeks on Monday is the 1st so I’d have thought they’d be cancelling this week for those early dates in November?

I understand BA have cancelled up to and including 14th November on some leisure routes like MCO. TUI have cancelled all of their SFB routes for November.
#962322 by mitchja
14 Oct 2021, 09:39
VS are restarting MAN>JFK flights from Monday Nov 8th. There's nothing else direct before that so I'd say that's a very rough indication of what VS are planning so far.

Direct MAN>JFK flights are still currently on sale from Nov 8th onwards.

VS leave flight cancellations until around 10-14 days before departure.
#962323 by VIR75L
14 Oct 2021, 09:54
Thanks for sharing - hopefully they stick to 2 weeks in advance.

MAN-MCO remains bookable from the 1 November on VA’s website, so I appreciate what you’re saying for the JFK route, however looks like they haven’t cancelled the Orlando routes for the first week just yet.
#962327 by flyingfox
14 Oct 2021, 16:01
Update from VS Trade;

VSbulletin COVID-19 Ongoing Travel Disruption - 14 October 2021
It remains a dynamic time for international travel and we’re continually reviewing our flying schedules in response to the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and any restrictions in the destinations we fly to. We hope to be back to a full flying programme as soon as we can.

We’re expanding our portfolio of flights to South Africa, following the country’s removal from the Red List. From 8 November, flights from London Heathrow to Johannesburg will increase from three times a week to a daily service. The relaunch of the airline’s Heathrow to Cape Town service is also being brought forward and from 17 December, we will be flying three times weekly.

Following the announcement that the US borders will reopen for fully vaccinated international visitors from November, a confirmed date for the easing of US entry rules is still pending. As a result, we’ve had to adjust some of our US schedules and taken the difficult decision to slightly push back the restart of Orlando services.

We apologise to any customers affected by a rescheduling or cancellation.

As a result of the fast-moving travel environment, we continue to make schedule changes which will affect our Flying Programme for the coming weeks.
We are reducing frequencies on several routes, however to ensure impacted passengers can continue with their travel plans, they will be reprotected to the most suitable alternative departure.Where a flight is cancelled, and due to limited operations to these destinations, there will be no reprotection option available.

Bookings affected by these changes will be updated on Saturday 16 October 2021.

Cancellations Effective until & including

USA
LHR-MCO 7 Nov 2021
MAN-MCO 7 Nov 2021

Caribbean
MAN-MBJ 23 Apr 2022

China
LHR-PVG 7 Nov 2021

We are also making some frequency updates on selected routes. We will continue to keep our website up to date with all the latest updates to schedule and travel restrictions.

During October we plan to maintain operations on the following routes, subject to late changes:

Our flying programme
USA
LHR-ATL-LHR Daily
LHR-BOS-LHR 4 per week
LHR-JFK-LHR 11-17 Oct, 16 per week/18-31 Oct, 18 per week
LHR-LAX-LHR 11 per week
LHR-MIA-LHR 4 per week
LHR-SFO-LHR 5-17 Oct, 3 per week/18-31 Oct, 4 per week

Caribbean
LHR-BGI-LHR Daily
LHR-MBJ-LHR 3 per week
LHR-ANU-LHR 3 per week
LHR-GND-LHR (via BGI) 2 per week
LHR-SVD-LHR (via BGI) 2 per week
MAN-BGI-MAN 3 per week

South Africa
LHR-JNB-LHR 3 per week

India
LHR-BOM-LHR Daily
LHR-DEL-LHR Daily

Pakistan
LHR-LHE-LHR 2 per week
LHR-ISB-LHR 2 per week
MAN-ISB-MAN 2 per week

Hong Kong
LHR-HKG 2 per week
HKG-LHR Daily

Nigeria
LHR-LOS-LHR Daily

Israel
LHR-TLV-LHR Daily

Our partners are also back in the skies, and here's a reminder of where they are flying long-haul from the UK in October.

Our partner Delta Air Lines flying programme

LHR-ATL-LHR Daily
LHR-JFK-LHR 1-19 Oct, Daily/20-31 Oct, 10 per week
LHR-DTW-LHR 3 per week from 18 Oct



South Africa is back!

We’re ready to welcome customers back to the destinations that are important to them and are delighted to let you know that we’re expanding our portfolio of flights to South Africa, following the country’s removal from the Red List.

From 8 November, flights from London Heathrow to Johannesburg will increase from three times a week to a daily service and the relaunch of our flights to Cape Town are being brought forward with flights three times weekly from 17 December.

As South Africa’s capital city, not only does Johannesburg offer a gateway to some of the best safaris in the world, but its warm climate provides the perfect escape for Brits seeking some winter sun.

Cape Town is famed for its breath-taking scenery and its world-famous wine region. Table Mountain is part of the fabric of the city and the views across the city and beyond from the 500 million-year-old monolith simply can’t be bettered.

Both services will operate on our Boeing 787-9 aircraft boasting 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium and 192 Economy Delight, Classic and Light seats. Flights will be on sale from 17 October 2021.

LHR - JNB - LHR
Flight no. Depart Arrive
VS449 LHR 22:30 JNB 11:35+1
VS450 JNB 21:00 LHR 06:25+1

LHR - CPT - LHR
Flight no. Depart Arrive
VS478 LHR 16:30 CPT 06:10+1
VS479 CPT 08:00 LHR 17:55
#962331 by flyingfox
14 Oct 2021, 22:47
Cheaper day 2 lateral flow tests for passengers arriving into England will start 24th October ;

Fully vaccinated passengers will be told to upload photos of their Covid-19 tests for verification.


Travellers will be able to order their lateral flow tests from 22 October, when a list of approved providers will be published on the gov.uk website.
NHS Test and Trace tests - which can be ordered for free - cannot be used for international travel, the government said.


article here
#962334 by flyingfox
15 Oct 2021, 13:22
Janeclar wrote:The Telegraph are suggesting that reopening will be 8 November!!

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/20 ... ext-month/


The article begins with an “eyeing” of reopening on the 8th then later on puts it out there that they are “hinting” there could be delays, I do hope we get a date either way asap!!

The US is set to reopen transatlantic flights with Britain in early November as Joe Biden prepares to lift the 18-month ban on fully jabbed UK travellers.

The President is understood to be eyeing November 8 as the restart date for travel that has been in deep freeze since Donald Trump imposed the ban at the start of the pandemic last year.

The Biden administration announced last month that passengers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 would be able to fly to the US from anywhere in the world from November.

However, in the past few weeks there have been hints from administration officials that the continuing scale of the pandemic in parts of America could delay it until Thanksgiving at the end of November.

Last week Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, disputed the speculation, saying he remained optimistic that it could restart in early November and had been reassured as such by the US administration.

Now it appears the US is to go ahead with an early November restart. Travellers will have to show proof of having been fully vaccinated and a negative test taken in the previous three days, starting in early November.

Masks mandatory on flights

They will also have to wear a mask for the journey and share their telephone number and email address for contact tracing.

Since last year, people without US citizenship, green cards or specific exemptions have been banned from travelling to the US if they have been in the UK, Ireland, the Schengen area, China, India, Iran, South Africa or Brazil in the previous 14 days.

Boris Johnson and President Biden agreed to set up a joint taskforce to restart travel when they met at the G7 summit in Cornwall in June although the Prime Minister told colleagues that the US president appeared “very reluctant” to reboot flights.

In a bid to reinvigorate travel, the UK has since announced that fully jabbed Americans can come to the UK without having to quarantine but the US has yet to reciprocate.
#962338 by flyingfox
15 Oct 2021, 21:05
Update from VS Trade;

USA to open from 8th November for fully vaccinated visitors;

We’re excited to confirm that the Biden administration has confirmed (on 15 October) that the United States will reopen its borders for fully vaccinated international visitors from Monday 8 November.

This welcome news means that from 8 November, if you’re fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the United States, you’ll be able to enter the US as a visitor, be it for leisure, business or reuniting with loved ones. This latest easing of restrictions applies to visitors from the UK, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran, Brazil and the 26 Schengen countries in Europe.

We anticipate that further guidance will be published by the US authorities in the coming weeks, which will detail the accepted forms of vaccination proof, finalise the accepted vaccines, and explain the correct requirements for travellers aged under 18. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that six vaccines recognised by the FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet the criteria for travel to the US. We are confident that the Astra Zeneca vaccine will be accepted and this has been confirmed by the US chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci on 21 September.

Please check the US travel advice on the UK FCDO website for the latest, including the regular entry requirements and also refer to our US travel advice page. The requirements to travel transatlantic may have changed since you last flew so it’s really important you familiarise yourself with the requirements to ensure a smooth journey.

Travellers to the US will have to show proof of full vaccination (with 14 days elapsed from the final dose) and a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure. If you need a helping hand, we have advice on private testing providers. You’ll also need to share your telephone number and email address with the US authorities for contact tracing purposes and please note that customers aged 2 and over travelling to or from the United States must wear a face mask, unless they are exempt.

If you’re returning to England from the US and are fully vaccinated through a UK-approved vaccination programme, you won’t have to do a pre-departure test for England – just complete a COVID-19 lateral flow test on or before day 2 of arrival, as well as a Passenger Locator Form.

Virgin Atlantic currently serves the following US destinations from London Heathrow: Atlanta, Boston, New York-JFK, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco.

Our popular Orlando services from London Heathrow and Manchester will restart on 8 November, along with our Manchester-New York-JFK and London Heathrow-Las Vegas services, to be followed by Manchester-Atlanta on 2 December and Seattle and Washington DC services from Heathrow in early 2022.

We are simply not Virgin without the Atlantic and after 18 months of uncertainty, we cannot wait to welcome our customers back onboard, flying you safely to your favourite US destinations.
#962341 by ColOrd
16 Oct 2021, 12:45
Just a heads up schedule changes are being loaded over the weekend.

I am due to travel to LAX 24/12 on thé 23 and they have just taken the 7 off and put all of the 7s pax on to the 23 as well as downgauging from a 35K to a 789.

I assume more changes will become apparent over the weekend. Might be worth checking your bookings guys!
#962350 by cheesebag
Yesterday, 11:25
ColOrd wrote:Just a heads up schedule changes are being loaded over the weekend.

I am due to travel to LAX 24/12 on thé 23 and they have just taken the 7 off and put all of the 7s pax on to the 23 as well as downgauging from a 35K to a 789.

I assume more changes will become apparent over the weekend. Might be worth checking your bookings guys!


Mine still showing as VS007 for Feb but still 789
#962364 by mitchja
Yesterday, 18:44
I'm sure all the 333's will all go back into service. No idea about the 332's though.

I *guess* once TATL traffic picks up again, VS may also be stopping their European & other cargo-only routes they starting during the pandemic?

Be interesting to see how VS's slimmed down cabin crew / general staff numbers cope once traffic does ramp up again. I read somewhere this week that BA are already recruiting cabin crew again (with former crew getting priority).
#962366 by mitchja
Yesterday, 20:46
One thing worth mentioning if you plan on travelling to the USA again is to check your current ESTA status as many will have either expired or will not be far off with US boarders being closed for ~19 months.

Remember that ESTAs must now be applied for and show as approved no less than 72 hours before your departure.

Just renewed mine here as my existing one runs out next month. If you apply for a new one before the old one expires, your old one gets cancelled automatically.

Mine has just taken approx 2 hours to change from ‘Pending Authorisation’ to now showing as ‘Approved’.
#962367 by David1946
Yesterday, 21:27
Thanks for the reminder James. I received the email from them a couple of weeks ago as ours expire next month. Will have to do the renewal ready for February. Just renewed the travel insurance so need to get the old brain back in to travel mode. It's surprising how you get out of the habit after an 18 month lay off
#962377 by ColOrd
Today, 03:32
Thanks Mitchja, I’ve just checked and my ESTA expired November 2020, definitely the longest period without one since I started travelling in 2013!

Will get a new one sorted!

After suffering a blood clot recently am dreading the travel insurance!!
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