Skift Take

Virgin Atlantic's decision to drop flights to Hong Kong is a major sign that ongoing closure of Russian airspace isn't going away anytime soon.

British airline Virgin Atlantic on Wednesday decided to suspend its Heathrow-Hong Kong services, close its Hong Kong office and not resume flights in March 2023, after 30 years in the Asian city due to issues related to the closure of Russian airspace

Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has led several airlines, which were already reeling from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, to suspend flights and plan longer routes to avoid Russian and Ukrainian airspace.

“Significant operational complexities due to the ongoing Russian airspace closure have contributed to the commercial decision not to resume flights in March 2023 as planned,” the airline founded by billionaire Richard Branson said

Virgin Atlantic had halted flights to Hong Kong since December last year and several airlines have not routed flights through Russia’s airspace after the invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier in the day, Bloomberg reported that around 46 Virgin Atlantic jobs will be impacted, including office staff and cabin crew, due to the decision.

(Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

This article was from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]

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Tags: airlines, aviation, hong kong, richard branson, Russia war, virgin atlantic

Photo credit: Virgin Atlantic has decided to end service to Hong Kong after 30 years of flights to the territory. Tomás Del Coro / Flickr

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