Why Virgin Atlantic leaves Hong Kong

Why Virgin Atlantic leaves Hong Kong

Virgin Atlantic closes its doors in Hong Kong. The airline leaves the city after 30 years, blaming the closure of Russian airspace as the reason for the exit.

Virgin Atlantic will no longer operate flights between Hong Kong and London.

Yesterday, the British airline founded by Richard Branson decided to suspend the Heathrow-Hong Kong route, close its Hong Kong office and not resume flights in March 2023. This concludes the thirty-year presence of the carrier in the Asian financial hub.

Moscow's invasion of Ukraine has led several airlines to suspend flights and plan longer routes to avoid Russian and Ukrainian airspace. Not to mention that Virgin Atlantic, like the rest of the aviation sector, had already suffered from the collapse of traffic due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In August 2020, the airline filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and received approval for the $ 1.6 billion bailout from the UK High Court the following September.

Virgin's departure from Hong Kong is the first of a major airline since American Airlines left the city in late 2021, CNBC reports.

All the details.

WHAT RICHARD BRANSON'S AIRLINE HAS DECIDED

"The significant operational complexities due to the ongoing Russian airspace closure contributed to the commercial decision not to resume flights in March 2023 as planned," said the airline founded by billionaire Richard Branson.

The company explained that, based on the airspace left closed, flight times from Heathrow to London would have taken about an hour longer than in 2019, while flights from Hong Kong to Heathrow would have taken 1 hour and 50 minutes in. more.

Virgin Atlantic had already ceased flights to Hong Kong since December last year after the city-state suspended all flights from the UK due to the resurgence of Covid-19 cases. Flights were expected to resume in March 2023. The company said it will offer a refund, voucher or option to rebook on an alternative route to those who have purchased tickets for the trip starting in March 2023.

The airline added that it will increase flights to other destinations next year, but did not provide details.

AFFECTED 46 JOBS

Finally, the closure of the Hong Kong office will affect 46 jobs – 18 ground crew and 28 cabin crew employed in the Asian city – with which a formal consultation process has begun, Bloomberg revealed.


This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/smartcity/perche-virgin-atlantic-lascia-hong-kong/ on Thu, 06 Oct 2022 07:54:39 +0000.