Virgin Atlantic is to restart its much-anticipated flights to Shanghai, re-establishing essential business and leisure connections between the United Kingdom and China.
The move comes following a relaxation in travel restrictions between the two countries, which sees the borders reopening to foreign nationals for the first time since 2020. Shanghai is Virgin Atlantic’s final route to be re-instated following the global pandemic, having been closed for a total of 859 days at the point of its relaunch.
China remains one of the most important trading partners to the UK and as the country’s largest city, Shanghai is a world renowned commercial and financial hub. Moreover, the eclectic destination offers UK tourists a melting pot of culture, from Pudong district’s futuristic skyline, the Bund’s famous waterfront walkways to the traditional pavilions in Yu Gardens.
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As it did prior to the pandemic, Virgin Atlantic’s Shanghai flights will operate on a Boeing 787-9. Customers can enjoy a selection of experiences across three cabins; Upper Class, Premium alongside the airline’s three classes of Economy, Delight, Classic and Light.
Shanghai is also a hub to the airline’s new SkyTeam partner, China Eastern. Offering a wide range of connections throughout China and beyond, Virgin Atlantic customers will be able to seamlessly connect to onward services. Flying Club members will soon have the opportunity to earn and redeem Virgin Points across China Eastern’s flying programme, alongside many other SkyTeam partners.
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“The return of our Shanghai services has been a long-time coming and I’m delighted it’s finally a reality. We’re looking forward to welcoming our customers back on board and providing vital links to one of the UK’s largest trading partners, for both passenger and cargo services,” Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, said.
“Shanghai is the final route to return following the global pandemic, restoring our flying programme to full capacity. Our focus for 2023 is on delivery, as we look forward to launching routes to new destinations, welcoming brand new clean, green aircraft and getting back to our best for our customers and people.”
The return to China will complement the rest of Virgin Atlantic’s global route network which includes the USA & Caribbean, South Africa, India and Pakistan. The airline’s Tel Aviv service is set to double capacity this summer, operating a double daily service which has been a firm favourite with business and leisure travellers alike. New routes to the Maldives and Turks and Caicos will also commence later this year.