BA and Virgin to resume Covid-grounded flights to mainland China

The first resumed flight will be to Shanghai in April

Virgin Atlantic is ready to resume flights between London Heathrow and the Chinese city of Shanghai. PA
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British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have both decided to restart flights to China from the UK that were grounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

BA will resume flights to Shanghai on April 23 and Beijing from June 3. Virgin’s first flight to Shanghai will be on May 1.

The flights, all from Heathrow, were suspended as part of Covid-19 lockdown orders.

Virgin has not operated flights on the route since December 2020.

“The return of our Shanghai services has been a long time coming and I'm delighted it's finally a reality,” said Virgin chief commercial officer Juha Jarvinen.

“We're looking forward to welcoming our customers back on board and providing vital links to one of the UK's largest trading partners, for both passenger and cargo services.

“Shanghai is the final route to return following the global pandemic, restoring our flying programme to full capacity.”

BA tickets to China are back on sale from Thursday. PA

A relaxation of restrictions in China has reopened its borders to foreign citizens for the first time since 2020.

Heathrow-Shanghai is Virgin Atlantic's final route to be reinstated after pandemic-related suspensions.

BA tickets went on sale on Thursday.

“We can’t wait to welcome our customers back on board our flights from Shanghai and Beijing,” said Noella Ferns, BA’s head of sales for Asia Pacific.

"We know they’ve been looking forward to reuniting with family and friends, coming to study in the UK and resuming business between China and the UK.

“We have an incredibly rich history of flying to mainland China, having connected the two countries for more than 40 years. We look forward to resuming these routes again.”

From April 23, flights will operate daily between London Heathrow and Shanghai Pudong International Airport. From June 3, flights will operate four times a week between London Heathrow and Beijing Daxing Airport.

Western airlines have been reluctant to resume operations to and from Asia because of tougher coronavirus rules.

Updated: February 02, 2023, 3:09 PM