Virgin Atlantic made a surprise announcement on Wednesday about immediately ending its 30-year-long service to Hong Kong.
The airline stopped flying to Hong Kong in December 2021 when flights from the UK were banned but had previously planned to resume them in March 2023. Virgin Atlantic once flew to both Sydney and Melbourne via Hong Kong.
Virgin is offering affected passengers refunds and vouchers for alternate services. They are required, however, to provide rebooking for those starting in Europe.
The Virgin claims that one of the reasons for ending the service is the closure of Russian airspace, which adds an hour of flying from Hong and sounds like an excuse.
The real reason could be the exodus of foreign firms and ex-pats from Hong Kong due to harsh and unnecessary lengthy quarantines of up to 21 days during the pandemic that was just relaxed on Monday last week (read more here).
Virgin Atlantic was not satisfied with the financial performance of the route even before the pandemic.
Virgin Atlantic’s Updated Route Map
You must remember that Virgin serves a very limited number of destinations outside the United States and the Caribbean.
The airline used Hong Kong as a transit point to Sydney and Melbourne, but those routes were already retired years ago.
I remember fondly the Virgin Clubhouse in Hong Kong that was also available for those flying on Singapore Airlines first class.
Let’s see if Virgin will resume, at some point, its flight to Shanghai or if it will be axed too.