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Virgin Atlantic to Launch New Services to Pakistan From London and Manchester in December 2020

Virgin Atlantic announced on Thursday that they will launch new services to Pakistan from London and Manchester starting December 2020. The carrier will offer service from London-Heathrow to Lahore and Islamabad as well as flight between Manchester and Islamabad.

Virgin Atlantic A350-1000 - Courtesy Airbus

On Thursday (August 27, 2020), Virgin Atlantic announced that they will launch new routes from London-Heathrow and Manchester starting December 2020. The carrier will operate flights from London to Lahore and Islamabad as well as from Manchester to Islamabad. Pending regulatory approvals, tickets on the new routes will go on sale in September and Virgin Atlantic will offer Upper Class, Premium and Economy Light, Classic and Delight fares. As Pakistan represents the seventh largest diaspora in the world, the new flights will provide a fantastic opportunity for customers to visit friends and relatives in the UK and US. Additionally, expats and other adventurous travelers will enjoy the many splendors of Pakistan including the UNESCO World Heritage sights of Lahore or exploration of the majestic Himalayan foothills outside Islamabad. Virgin Atlantic guests will enjoy speedy and seamless connections to Pakistan when traveling from North American gateways including New York-JFK, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Boston and San Francisco. In Thursday’s announcement, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Commercial Officer, Juha Jarvinen said,

“With travel restrictions remaining in place for many destinations around the world, we’re continually evaluating our network, looking at customer demand and where there are opportunities to launch new services. Pakistan is an extremely exciting opportunity for us – it boasts one of the largest foreign-born populations in both the UK and the US and, as people start to travel to visit loved ones, we’re anticipating the demand  to visit friends and relatives will increase post COVID-19. Both Lahore and Islamabad are popular year round destinations and we look forward to welcoming travellers onboard as demand for leisure and business travel gradually increases to the region. We also see a significant opportunity to increase competition in the US – Pakistan market. Using the strength of our trans-Atlantic services we’re able to offer customers the shortest journey to and from destinations in the US such as New York, Los Angeles and Washington by connecting through London Heathrow.”

Also commenting on Thursday’s announcement, the Acting Head of the British High Commission in Pakistan added,

“Virgin Atlantic planning to start flights to Pakistan is great news for hundreds of thousands of people who regularly travel between our two nations, as well as a boost to UK-Pakistan trade links. We look forward to welcoming Virgin Atlantic to this fantastic country.”

Virgin Atlantic resumed flying on July 20, 2020 and currently operates flights to New York-JFK, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Barbados and Miami and will add additional routes throughout September and October. The carrier has implemented numerous health and safety protocols throughout the guest journey including enhanced cleaning practices at check-in, boarding gates and onboard (using electrostatic spraying), safe distancing where possible, and the requirement of wearing masks at airports and onboard. All Virgin Atlantic customers will also receive a Health Pack which includes three medical grade face masks, surface wipes and hand sanitizing gel.

From October, the carrier will offer a temporarily simplified hot food service including Halal, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Economy and Economy Plus customers will enjoy a ‘Fly safe, eat well’ meal box, which incorporates a choice of three hot meals, cheese & biscuits as well as dessert. Upper Class guests will have a choice of three hot meals, desserts, cheese & biscuits and a ciabatta roll, which will be delivered on a tray to their seat. A second meal will also be served to all customers which, on day flights from the UK, will include Mile High Tea in collaboration with celebrity Pâtissier, Eric Lanlard.

Source: Virgin Atlantic


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