VIRGIN Atlantic has announced it plans to restart passenger flights on July 20.

The airline will resume flights from the UK to the US and Asia from next month after being forced to ground their fleet due to coronavirus.

In a statement, they said: "Virgin Atlantic has announced its plan to restart passenger flying, with services from London Heathrow to Orlando, Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York JFK and Los Angeles set to resume from July 20 and 21 2020.

"As countries around the world start to relax travel restrictions, Virgin Atlantic will resume some routes on July 20 while steadily increasing passenger flying throughout the second half of 2020, with a further, gradual recovery through 2021 in line with customer demand."

More destinations will resume from August, although these are yet to be revealed.

Chief operating officer Juha Jarvinen added that the carrier is "monitoring external conditions extremely closely" such as the UK's incoming 14-day quarantine policy.

"We know that as the Covid-19 crisis subsides, air travel will be a vital enabler of the UK's economic recovery," he said.

"Therefore we are calling for a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, which will allow for a successful and safe restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses."

Enhanced hygiene and safety measures announced by the airline include deploying powerful disinfectant on board "ensuring no surface is left untouched".

Passengers will be required to wear masks when social distancing is not possible.

Virgin Atlantic has previously announced it will not resume flights at Gatwick and will reduce its workforce by 3,150 people as it restructures due to the pandemic.

They are one of many airlines resuming flights from next month – Ryanair and BA plan to restart a limited schedule of flights abroad.

Wizz Air resumed flights to Europe in May while easyJet are offering domestic flights from mid-June.

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