Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will provide all of its passengers with free coronavirus insurance cover, from now until March 2021.
The airline said its new insurance plan applies automatically to all new and existing bookings up until March 31, 2020, claiming it's "the most comprehensive COVID-19 cover provided by any major airline." It's not just restricted to the airline though, the plan also applies to any Virgin Holiday booking, provided the airline is operated by Virgin or its partner airlines such as Delta Air Lines or Air France-KLM.
"We could all use some extra peace of mind right now. So we are adding free of charge Virgin Atlantic COVID-19 Cover to every existing booking, as well as new bookings made for travel up until March 31st 2021," the airline said in a statement.
The insurance policy is provided by Allianz Assistance and covers costs up to £500,000 (US$656,000) per customer. Outlining the plan, Virgin said it will cover COVID-19 related medical expenses; repatriation; denied booking; and quarantine costs, including personal accommodation, transport charges, refreshments, booking amendment fees and other expenses.
Virgin Atlantic resumed flight operations on July 20 from London Heathrow, before adding 17 destinations across the network in August. Throughout autumn the airline will expand its network even further by resuming flights to Barbados, Montego Bay, Antigua and Tel Aviv as global flight restrictions continue to ease.
“Whether it’s to visit friends and relatives or take a well-deserved break, we believe this complimentary cover will provide some added reassurance for our customers as they start to plan trips further afield," Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic's chief commercial officer said. "It applies in parallel to existing travel insurance policies which may now exclude COVID-19, and provides comprehensive cover for coronavirus, recognising the needs of our customers as we restart services."
The news comes as the Canary Islands Department of Tourism and AXA Insurance signed a similar agreement earlier this month to provide free COVID-19 insurance to all tourists who visit the islands, provided they're staying in regulated tourist accommodation.