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UK lockdown chokes London flights

UK lockdown chokes London flights

The UK’s new four-week lockdown to combat a second wave of COVID-19 infections, has affected flight schedules between South Africa and London.

Virgin Atlantic has reduced its Johannesburg-Heathrow service between November 5 and December 2.  During this time the airline will operate two direct services per week, departing from London every Wednesday and Sunday at 22h30, arriving in Johannesburg the next morning at 11h25. Flights are scheduled to depart from OR Tambo at 22h00 on Mondays and Thursdays, arriving the following morning at 07h15.

Passengers affected by the schedule change will be rebooked. The new schedule is reflecting in the GDS, says Virgin. Virgin’s flexible bookings conditions also remain in place during this period, says the airline.

“Cape Town remains on the radar for a December start, but it remains dependent on travel restrictions in both the UK and South Africa,” said Liezl Gericke, Virgin Atlantic head of Middle East, Africa and India.

“We continue our urgent calls for HM Government to introduce a robust testing regime to safely open the skies and enable air travel to fully resume in December. Given the dynamic situation we are in, we will keep you updated with any significant changes to our flying programme, which is reviewed daily.”

While British Airways’ services to Johannesburg have not been affected at present, the airline has suspended services to Cape Town, with the last flight scheduled to depart from Cape Town on November 12.

“The suspension will be in place for roughly four weeks, with the possibility of adhoc/charter flights in between, which would be communicated in due course. During this period we will keep you informed of activity and provide updates on a likely restart date in December or beyond – depending on the impact that the newly imposed restrictions have, and how long they last,” said the airline in a statement.

British Airways’ services to Johannesburg will not be affected.