“The World Health Organisation delcared the outbreak a global pandemic on Wednesday 11 March, as cases continue to rise. An increasing number of countries are now closing their borders – most significantly,the US, where a travel embargo from the UK comes into force on Tuesday 17 March.

“Though this was expected, it has accelerated the sharp and continual drop in demand for flights across Virgin Atlantic’s network, meaning immediate and decisive action is needed.

“The safety and wellbeing of our people and our customers is always our number one priority. Today, Virgin Atlantic will put drastic measures in place to ensure cash is preserved, costs are controlled, and the future of the airline is safeguarded.

“The situation is deteriorating at pace and the airline has seen several days of negative bookings, driven by a huge volume of cancellations as customers choose to stay at home. Significantly, the European Commission has announced a suspension of the ‘use it or lose it’ slot rules until 30 June 2020, enabling the airline to consolidate schedules and ground aircraft immediately.

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