Virgin Atlantic cancels plans to fly from Manchester to India

Dec 14, 2020

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.

Virgin Atlantic appears to have nixed its plans to launch nonstop flights from Manchester to two destinations in India, as reported by Business Traveller.

In October, the airline unveiled its plans to launch two new routes from Manchester (MAN) to Mumbai (BOM) and Delhi (DEL). Flights to Mumbai were set to launch in December 2020, while those to Delhi were set for January 2021.

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“We are continuously reviewing our flying programme and in response to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 we have made the difficult decision to withdraw our Manchester to Delhi and Mumbai services which were due to launch in January,” Virgin Atlantic says on its VAFlightStore website. “We remain committed to our Manchester home and have recently resumed operations to Barbados, with further routes to the Caribbean and U.S. commencing in the coming weeks.”

The airline’s route to Delhi (DEL) was originally announced in February with a launch date of 26 October. However, presumably given the pandemic, the launch was delayed to January 2021 before eventually being cancelled.

Virgin already serves both Mumbai and Delhi from London Heathrow. The addition of the Manchester service would have given Brits living in the North a closer connection for getting to India.

While the cancellation of these planned route launches is disappointing, it’s not all that surprising. The airline industry — and Virgin Atlantic specifically — have been completely upended by the pandemic and its effects on travel.

Additionally, India remains on England’s travel corridor list. In other words, when travellers return to England from India, they have to quarantine for 10 days.

Featured photo by Kriangkrai Thitimakorn/Getty Images.

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