Update: Virgin Atlantic’s new route to Sao Paulo, which had been due to launch on March 29, has been pushed back to October 5.
The airline also says it will instigate a company-wide recruitment freeze, and will give employees the option to take 1-2 weeks of unpaid leave.
Virgin Atlantic has announced it will not charge passengers a fee for changing flights for travel booked from Wednesday March 4 until Tuesday March 31.
The flight change fee waiver will apply to trips up to and including September 30, 2020. Tickets will be able to be reissued until the day before departure.
It applies to all routes in Virgin Atlantic’s international network, including services from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow and Belfast.
It will also apply to tickets booked on Virgin Atlantic codeshare flights on transatlantic routes with its joint venture partners Delta, Air France and KLM.
Fare differences due to flight changes will still be charged, and there is no change of policy for existing bookings.
It comes in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, which is causing widespread disruption to the aviation industry around the world.
UK airlines have cancelled hundreds of flights this month, and many routes have been suspended.
That includes a suspension of Virgin’s Heathrow-Shanghai service, which has now been extended from March 28 to April 19.
It will also run nine fewer services to Hong Kong this month. The airline told us:
- There will be no VS206 LHR-HKG service on March 5, 7, 10, 13, 16, 18, 21, 23 and 25;
- There will be no VS207 HKG-LHR service on March 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, 19, 22, 24 and 26.
Customers with queries can contact Virgin Atlantic’s customer care team by text on +44 (0)7481 339184.
British Airways has currently waived flight change fees for travel booked between Tuesday March 3 and Monday March 16.
Carriers in the US and elsewhere have also been relaxing their policies.
Those with flights booked should contact their airline for the latest information.
Have your travel plans been affected by coronavirus? Let us know in comments.