Virgin axes HKG

Old Oct 5, 22, 5:05 am
  #1  
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Virgin axes HKG

A sad sign of the times, but Virgin Atlantic has confirmed it won't be returning to Hong Kong: https://www.executivetraveller.com/n...g-kong-flights


“After careful consideration we’ve taken the difficult decision to suspend our London Heathrow – Hong Kong services and close our Hong Kong office, after almost 30 years of proudly serving this Asian hub city. 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, which have already been paused since December 2021.

"Our people and customers in Hong Kong have been amazing since we first touched down at the famous Kai Tak Airport in 1994 and since then we’ve provided important connectivity between the UK and Hong Kong for thousands of customers and supported global supply chains through our cargo operations. We’re sorry for the disappointment caused to our loyal customers on this route and anyone booked to travel from March 2023, will be offered a refund, voucher or the option to rebook on an alternative Virgin Atlantic route.”


“After careful consideration we’ve taken the difficult decision to suspend our London Heathrow – Hong Kong services and close our Hong Kong office, after almost 30 years of proudly serving this Asian hub city. 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, which have already been paused since December 2021.

"Our people and customers in Hong Kong have been amazing since we first touched down at the famous Kai Tak Airport in 1994 and since then we’ve provided important connectivity between the UK and Hong Kong for thousands of customers and supported global supply chains through our cargo operations. We’re sorry for the disappointment caused to our loyal customers on this route and anyone booked to travel from March 2023, will be offered a refund, voucher or the option to rebook on an alternative Virgin Atlantic route.”
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Old Oct 5, 22, 5:10 am
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Damn!
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Old Oct 5, 22, 6:49 am
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Could any one proffer some advice ?
We booked two returns in UC LHR TO HKG in the 50 % off avios sale way back . These have been cancelled by virgin several times and rebooked . They were then rescheduled for June 2023 .
Virgin are only offering a refund or voucher ( I can see no advantage to this). I would obviously rather be rerouted on another airline or change my destination . Can I insist on the first ?

many thanks
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Old Oct 5, 22, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by simonsmith View Post
Could any one proffer some advice ?
We booked two returns in UC LHR TO HKG in the 50 % off avios sale way back . These have been cancelled by virgin several times and rebooked . They were then rescheduled for June 2023 .
Virgin are only offering a refund or voucher ( I can see no advantage to this). I would obviously rather be rerouted on another airline or change my destination . Can I insist on the first ?

many thanks
If it was a confirmed booking for June 2023 VS is obliged to re-route you on alternative carrier if you so choose under UK/EU 261
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Old Oct 5, 22, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by zimne View Post
If it was a confirmed booking for June 2023 VS is obliged to re-route you on alternative carrier if you so choose under UK/EU 261
Good luck with that. With the original tickets being extended as a courtesy, Virgin are most likely to just refund and roll back to the original ticketing terms, considering them expired.
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Old Oct 5, 22, 8:35 am
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Just got off a chat so I would wait and see

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Old Oct 5, 22, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by RAPC View Post
Good luck with that. With the original tickets being extended as a courtesy, Virgin are most likely to just refund and roll back to the original ticketing terms, considering them expired.
That's what the law says, plenty of avenues to enforce it.
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Old Oct 5, 22, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by zimne View Post
If it was a confirmed booking for June 2023 VS is obliged to re-route you on alternative carrier if you so choose under UK/EU 261
Originally Posted by RAPC View Post
Good luck with that. With the original tickets being extended as a courtesy, Virgin are most likely to just refund and roll back to the original ticketing terms, considering them expired.
Whether the ticket was extended or not, whether courtesy was involved or not, the poster had a confirmed booking and Virgin is still bound by UK 261.

Of course, in the worst case, it might take county court action to resolve this. Refundable cash fares on LH-group are around the 2k mark, so the worst case might involve booking this and seeking repayment from Virgin. Hopefully, it doesn't get there.
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Old Oct 5, 22, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by cauchy View Post
Whether the ticket was extended or not, whether courtesy was involved or not, the poster had a confirmed booking and Virgin is still bound by UK 261.

Of course, in the worst case, it might take county court action to resolve this. Refundable cash fares on LH-group are around the 2k mark, so the worst case might involve booking this and seeking repayment from Virgin. Hopefully, it doesn't get there.
Not saying that it wouldn't be upheld in a court, just more of a comment about the likely actions from Virgin. Having been through similar with them, I didn't have the stomach to keep pushing further after a couple of weeks of back and forth. I've already seen them fall back on the refund CS responses in a HKG Facebook group, but I'll be happy if they do step up. It may well take a lot of time, effort and the legal process though.
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Old Oct 5, 22, 12:15 pm
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Thanks All for your advice.
I have now read the relevant EU / UK documentation and it would seem to me they have to reroute.
I will try the gentle approach first. The other half is a specialist in contract law so that will help if needed.
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Old Oct 5, 22, 2:26 pm
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Definitely not a surprise. Hong Kong is not at all as important as it thinks it is. It has lost its status as an economic and financial hub and there's not going to be a turnaround.
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Old Oct 5, 22, 10:05 pm
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Interestingly, BA announced just days ago they're returning to HKG in December. Virgin was never a major player on the route pre-pandemic with just a single daily flight. I do recall long ago they did the kangaroo route via HKG as well.
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Old Oct 15, 22, 6:09 am
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Very sad to see it go. Over the years I have done 7 round trip UC LHR-HKG flights on VS and never paid for one. All were done on transferred Amex points. Maybe I am part of the reason they have pulled out? lol
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Old Oct 19, 22, 11:41 am
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This article is not correct. It says, "With war continuing in Ukraine, airlines have avoided flying over Russia in fear of another attack on a commercial airliner. "

This is nonsense. British Flag carriers (and all EU, US, and Canadian carriers) are banned by Russia from flying over Russian airspace. Otherwise they'd just fly around Ukraine.
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Old Oct 19, 22, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
Definitely not a surprise. Hong Kong is not at all as important as it thinks it is. It has lost its status as an economic and financial hub and there's not going to be a turnaround.
Correct. And China is doing that on purpose. They want to make Shanghai the premier financial hub and make Hong Kong a second tier city. It's all about face there. They can't have a British creation leading the way. It needs to be a 100% Chinese creation that leads the Chinese financial world.
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