Virgin Atlantic flight marks return of international travel in Las Vegas

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — After nearly two years of tight restrictions, the U.S. borders are open to vaccinated, COVID-negative travelers.

And that means international flights are flying again at McCarran International Airport.

A Virgin Atlantic flight was the first to touch down earlier today.

“We have waited 20 months for this day,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, director of aviation.

“Twenty months ago was our last flight. Virgin happened to be our last flight out of this airport back in March of 2020,” Vassiliadis said.

And travelers were treated to a fabulous Las Vegas welcome.

Some were here to gamble. Others were happy for the chance to see their families after such a long time.

“It is wonderful for Las Vegas. It is the essence of our economy, and McCarran … the airport is the gateway to that,” Vassiliadis said.

She said the demand to fly is high.

“On Virgin thus far we are seeing very, very high,” she said.

“The number of passengers and number of seats that they are selling is way over average,” Vassiliadis said.

Both Rosemary and Andrew Allison are from Scotland, and they said they’re excited to ge to see their sons after such a long time apart.

“Been here for nearly two years, so it’s different. Exciting,” Rosemary Allison said.

“Relaxing and forgetting all the worry about getting here … getting vaccines, getting forms and getting to the airport,” said Andrew Allison.

They said it’s been a bit of a hassle going through the process of getting the right forms. But it all worked out, and now … a sense of relief.

What’s next?

“We know that British Air will be coming from London, as well,” Vassiliadis said. “But they are starting with daily service.”

“That already shows the confidence from this destination. We already heard from Copa Latin America. KLM, come from Amsterdam. Yet another gateway from Europe will be coming shortly after the new year,” Vassiliadis said.

Just proving that everyone needs a piece of Las Vegas.

The Virgin Atlantic flight brought 240 passengers and reported no problems.

Four carriers will resume overseas service to Las Vegas in 2021

  • Virgin Atlantic Airweays nonstop from London Heathrow beginning Nov. 8
  • British Airways nonstop from London Heathrow beginning Nov. 15
  • KLM Royal Dutch AIrlines nonstop from Amsterdam beginning Dec. 7
  • Copa Airlines nonstop from Panama City beginning Dec. 7

Regular nonstop service from Mexico resumed in July 2020, current routes include:

  • AeroMexico from Mexico City
  • JetBlue from Cancun
  • Viva Aerobus from Monterrey and Mexico City
  • Volaris from Guadalajara and Mexico City

Regual nonstop service from Canada resumed earlier this year, current routes include:

  • Air Canada from Vancouver, Tronoto, Montreal and Calgary
  • Flair Airlines from Tronoto
  • Swoop from Edmonton
  • WestJet from Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver

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