Virgin Atlantic Scraps Plans To Fly To São Paulo

Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will no longer be launching its London to São Paulo route on October 6th. The United Kingdom-based airline has had to cancel the service due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Virgin has made a U-turn on its Brazilian endeavour. Photo: Virgin Atlantic

Tough decision

The carrier has been making several amendments to its schedule. Global travel restrictions continue to force much of its fleet to remain grounded.

Therefore, Virgin publicly shared the following on its website:

“In response to the rapid acceleration and severe impact of Covid-19, we are continually reviewing our flying programme and as a result, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to withdraw our London Heathrow to Sao Paulo service which was due to launch on 6th October 2020.”

Passengers who have booked flights on this route are expected to be contacted by the airline. Additionally, they can visit Virgin’s website for rebooking and refund options. Travelers who have booked through third parties are being advised to contact those travel agencies for next steps.

Virgin Group, Richard Branson, Cash Injection
Virgin boss Richard Branson was expected to be on the inaugural flight. Photo: Getty Images

Strong expectations

Virgin was excited to be heading to Brazil’s financial hub. It previously promoted the fact that the city is the perfect entry point for anyone looking to explore South America.

Even those looking to visit São Paulo solely would be able to enjoy its famous jazz, art, fashion, and sports events. Indeed, it is also only an hour’s flight from Rio de Janeiro, another tourist hub. Despite the anticipation, this is the second time this year that plans have changed. It was previously supposed to launch last month.

Simple Flying reached out to Virgin for comment on the withdrawal of the São Paulo service. Even though the airline did not share details about future launch prospects, a spokesperson said that the company is continuously reviewing its flying program to deploy its fleet more effectively.

Additionally, the British outfit took a moment to thank its customers, trade and media partners, and, most of all, its team in São Paulo, for working hard to support it over the last few months.

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Most of Virgin’s aircraft are still grounded due to the virus outbreak. Photo: Getty Images

Better safe than sorry

There is still uncertainty about how the virus will impact the aviation and travel industry over the next few months. Even if it does become more comfortable to travel after the summer, it could be many more months before positive passenger numbers return.

Moreover, the airline will be looking to reprioritize its services while it faces financial and operational struggles amid the downturn in flight activity. Once the pandemic starts to dissipate, Virgin will be in a better position to begin launching new routes.

What are your thoughts on Virgin Atlantic canceling the launch of its São Paulo service in October? Were you looking forward to flying on this route? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.