British premier carrier Virgin Atlantic on Thursday announced the resumption of its flight services to Delhi and Mumbai from London Heathrow, under the air bubble pact, starting September 2. Virgin Atlantic plans to operate three flights a week from Delhi to London Heathrow from September 2, while Mumbai services are planned to re-commence from September 17 with four flights per week, the airline said in a release.
Both the destinations will provide connections to New York JFK and will operate on 787-9 Dreamliner, it said. The flights to the two destinations in India from London are being resumed under the air bubble pact between the UK and Indian governments, it said.
An air bubble is a bilateral arrangement with a set of regulations and restrictions, in which the carriers of the two countries can operate international flights. "This year marks 20 years of flying between the UK and India and we are delighted to resume our passenger services to this beautiful country," Alex McEwan, commercial manager (India), Virgin Atlantic, said.
Indian budget carrier SpiceJet, which has secured temporary slots under the air bubble pact, has already announced its plans to fly to the UK from September. Virgin Atlantic said it has put in place additional measures at the airport and on board to ensure health and safety of its people and customers.
All customers eligible under the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs as per the air bubble scheme will be able to travel onboard Virgin Atlantic's direct services to London Heathrow and the US, it added. All international commercial air passenger services in India are suspended since March 22, in the wake of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, various evacuation and charter flights and services under the air bubble pact with a few countries are being carried out.