BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Virgin Atlantic Monday said it would resume its flights to the Caribbean in August.
The airline had earlier announced that services from London Heathrow are expected to resume from 20th July.
Virgin Atlantic said flights from Barbados to London Heathrow will start on August 2. It said flights from Antigua, Montego Bay, and Tobago will return in October and that its Barbados-based Caribbean Ticket Office will re-open on the August 4, to support bookings and enquiries.
“As countries around the world begin to relax travel restrictions, we look forward to welcoming our customers back on board and flying them safely to many destinations across our network. From 20th July we are planning to resume some services and then from 1 st August onwards, we will resume passenger flying to 17 additional destinations around the world including Barbados, Tel Aviv, Miami, Lagos and San Francisco,” said Juha Jarvinen, the airlines’ chief commercial officer.
“However, we are monitoring external conditions extremely closely, in particular the travel restrictions many countries have in place including the 14 day quarantine policy for travellers entering the UK. 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 UK government to continually review its quarantine measures and instead look at a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, including air bridges, which will support a successful and safe restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses,” he added.
The airline said to ensure the health and safety of customers it is implementing additional measures to offer peace of mind in the airport and when taking to the skies.
It said these include enhanced and thorough cleaning practices at check in, boarding gates and on board including the use of electrostatic spraying of high-grade disinfectant on board in all cabins and lavatories, ensuring no surface is left untouched.
The airline said safe distancing will also be adhered to wherever possible, particularly at check-in and boarding and where not possible, masks will be required.
“We will provide a personal Health Pack for the wellbeing and comfort of all our customers, which will contain medical grade face masks as a requirement to be worn on board, surface wipes and hand gel.”
Caribbean countries had closed their borders since March aqs they responded to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has killed thousands of people worldwide, including here in the region. In addition, nearly nine million people worldwide have been infected with the virus that was first detected in China last December.
Some regional countries, notably Antigua and Barbuda and Jamaica, have already re-opened their airports to international travel.