LONDON, June 5 (Xinhua) -- British airline Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will resume some passenger flights in July as countries around the world started to relax travel restrictions amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The airline will restart routes from London Heathrow to Orlando and Hong Kong on July 20, and to Shanghai, New York JFK and Los Angeles on July 21, according to a statement on its website.
The airline plans to announce more destination restart dates in the next two weeks for the month of August while steadily increasing passenger flying throughout the second half of 2020.
"As the COVID-19 crisis stabilizes and demand slowly returns, we are looking forward to welcoming our customers back onboard and flying them safely to their favourite destinations," said Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer of Virgin Atlantic.
"Our planned first flights will be to Orlando and Hong Kong on the 20th July, 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," Jarvinen said.
To ensure the health and safety of its staff and passengers, Virgin Atlantic will introduce additional measures including enhanced cleaning, social distancing and providing passengers masks to wear during the flight.
In addition to the restart of passenger flying, Virgin Atlantic continues to operate cargo-only flights and will operate more than 600 cargo-only services throughout June.
The airline said it looks forward to continuing to partner with the Department of Health and the National Health Service, working with them on 17 cargo charters per week from Shanghai and Beijing throughout June and July, bringing in the vital medical supplies that the country urgently needs.