As Virgin Atlantic aims to establish itself as a sustainability leader, it will fly only wide-body, twin-engine aircraft from London Heathrow and Manchester. It will be moving its flights from London Gatwick to London Heathrow, with the intention of retaining its slot at Gatwick, with the hope of returning there once demand is back.
Virgin Atlantic will no longer use all of its seven 747-400s, with four A330-200 aircraft retiring in early 2022 as planned. By 2022 the simplified, greener fleet will comprise of 36 twin engine aircraft reducing CO2/RTK emissions by an estimated further 10 percent, building on the 18 percent efficiency already achieved between 2007-2019.
In order for the airline to emerge from the crisis, Virgin Atlantic has had to reduce its workforce by eliminating 3,150 jobs across all functions.
“We have weathered many storms since our first flight 36 years ago, but none has been as devastating as Covid-19 and the associated loss of life and livelihood for so many,” said Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic, in a statement. “However, to safeguard our future and emerge a sustainably profitable business, now is the time for further action to reduce our costs, preserve cash and to protect as many jobs as possible. It is crucial that we return to profitability in 2021. This will mean taking steps to reshape and resize Virgin Atlantic in line with demand, while always keeping our people and customers at the heart of all we do.”
Regarding the reduction of its workforce, Weiss said, “After 9/11 and the Global Financial Crisis, we took similar painful measures but fortunately many members of our team were back flying with us within a couple of years. Depending on how long the pandemic lasts and the period of time our planes are grounded for, hopefully the same will happen this time.”
In addition, Virgin Holidays will become Virgin Atlantic Holidays, focusing on one brand.
For more information, go to virginatlantic.com. More insights about travel post-COVID-19 can be found at #AmazingDaysAhead.
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