MIAMI – As part of the plan to deal with the current crisis, Virgin Atlantic (VS) applies financial measures and moves operations from Gatwick (LGW) to London Heathrow (LHR) airports.

As of March, the airline has already grounded aircraft and cut operations while its CEO, Shai Weiss, has agreed to take a pay-cut for four months.

New financial actions

In the past days, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson committed to making a US$250m investment for the company to protect employees in 35 countries for a total of more than 70,000 jobs.

Now, the entrepreneur has announced that workers had unanimously decided to collectively volunteer to take unpaid leave for eight weeks during the coming six and a half months.

To face the current hardship, Branson also asked for a state bailout, warning that the economic recovery would depend on governments undertaking support programs. He was not the only one asking.

The group CEO Peter Norris had written a letter to the UK Prime Minister requesting immediate financial aid around £7.5bn for UK carriers to survive to the crisis. However, the UK chancellor of Exchanger Rishi Sunak denied loans to airlines and airports, offering other financial options.

Photo: Yu Cai

Flight operations

The carrier said on the travel alert of its website that it would temporarily operate all its services in London only from Heathrow airport (LHR), suspending previous services in Gatwick (LGW). The last departed flight at LGW was on March 23 and the last arrival, on March 24.

Further, VS made a historic operation on March 22, flying its first-ever cargo-only charter to transport medical and pharmaceutical goods, which now means an alternative against its cut capacity. With more flights scheduled for this week, the VS cargo services are expected to increase in demand.