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Virgin Atlantic ceases Hong Kong operations, cites Russian airspace closure

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Virgin Atlantic has not operated any passenger flights to Hong Kong since December 2021, after the city-state suspended all flights from the U.Ok. as a result of a resurgence in Covid-19 circumstances.

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British airline Virgin Atlantic introduced Wednesday it was completely ceasing operations in Hong Kong as a result of points associated to the closure of Russian airspace.

The choice marks the tip of the provider’s London Heathrow to Hong Kong flight route and the closure of its Hong Kong workplace. It additionally ends the airline’s 30-year presence within the Asian monetary hub.

Virgin Atlantic mentioned in an announcement that the closure of Russian airspace following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in late February was one among a number of “complexities” contributing to the choice.

It mentioned that on the premise of the airspace remaining closed, Heathrow to London flight instances can be round one hour longer than in 2019, whereas Hong Kong to Heathrow flights can be 1 hour 50 minutes longer.

It added that the 2019 termination of Virgin Australia’s Hong Kong to Melbourne and Hong Kong to Sydney companies had already lowered the airline’s presence within the city-state.

“After cautious consideration we have taken the tough determination to droop our London Heathrow – Hong Kong companies and shut our Hong Kong workplace, after virtually 30 years of proudly serving this Asian hub metropolis,” a spokesperson for the airline mentioned.

“Important operational complexities as a result of ongoing Russian airspace closure have contributed to the industrial determination to not resume flights in March 2023 as deliberate, which have already been paused since December 2021,” it added.

Virgin Atlantic has not operated any passenger flights to Hong Kong since December 2021, after the city-state suspended all flights from the U.Ok. as a result of a resurgence of Covid-19 circumstances.

The airline was beforehand as a result of resume Hong Kong companies from March 2023. Nonetheless, with Wednesday’s announcement, it mentioned it will be capable of improve companies in different key markets from subsequent summer season.

Round 46 Virgin Atlantic jobs, together with these of workplace employees and cabin crew, are set to be impacted by the choice, according to Bloomberg.

The airline mentioned it will supply refunds or vouchers for alternate Virgin Atlantic companies to the “restricted quantity” of shoppers as a result of journey from March subsequent yr.

Virgin’s exit from Hong Kong is the primary by a significant airline since American Airlines left town in late 2021.

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