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Due to the closure of Russian airspace, Virgin Atlantic will not resume service between London Heathrow and Hong Kong.
After nearly 30 years of service, the Hong Kong–London flight has been cancelled. Despite cancelling the route in December 2021, the airline intended to start service again in March 2023.
Virgin Atlantic plans to allocate the extra resources to serve its other summer 2023 destinations.
Commercial flights to Hong Kong were suspended since December 2021 and will not return in March 2023 as planned, the company announced in a statement on 5 October 2022, citing “significant operational complications owing to the continued Russian airspace closure.”
Avoiding Russian airspace would extend a flight from London to Hong Kong by an additional 60 minutes in one direction and by around 1 hour and 50 minutes in the other. Because of the decline in revenue caused by Russia’s decision to close its airspace, numerous European airlines, including Finnair, are considering laying off up to 200 people worldwide, most of them in management.
Passenger numbers for Cathay Pacific almost plummeted after Hong Kong instituted among the world’s harshest COVID-19 travel regulations. Nonetheless, the September deadline for ending the quarantine was reached.
The 14-day hotel quarantine that international travellers to Hong Kong had to endure ended on 26 September 2022.
As a result of its decision not to relaunch the service, Virgin Atlantic is also closing its Hong Kong office. There was a decrease in the number of connecting clients to and from Australia due to the cancellation of Virgin Australia’s Hong Kong–Melbourne and Hong Kong–Sydney routes in 2019.
Since launching at Hong Kong’s iconic Kai Tak Airport in 1994, Virgin Atlantic has served thousands of customers by connecting the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. Its cargo operations have aided worldwide supply chains. “Our personnel and customers in Hong Kong have been outstanding,” the airline added.