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Virgin Atlantic Unveils Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Plane



Guests traveling to Orlando, Florida from London’s Gatwick airport were in for a big surprise today as they boarded Virgin Atlantic’s recently unveiled Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge plane.

Kids of all ages can now start getting excited from the moment they board their flight for their Walt Disney World vacation and visiting the brand new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge which opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this past August.

The Boeing 747 aircraft has been wrapped with the famous Millennium Falcon design and been dubbed “The Falcon” itself. The decal measures 44 meters or slightly more than 144 feet and took three weeks to print. If laid out flat, the wrap used to cover the aircraft would cover four tennis courts.

Virgin Atlantic's The Falcon with Crew
Virgin Atlantic’s The Falcon with Crew (Photo via Virgin Atlantic)

“We are incredibly proud to see ‘The Falcon’ take flight, featuring the iconic Millennium Falcon, from the much-loved Star Wars saga, as it wings passengers to experience the thrilling, new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida,” Joe Thompson, Managing Director of Virgin Holidays, said.

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“Over the last three decades, we have taken millions of British holiday-makers to enjoy the magic of Disney and we know that so many of our customers have been excited about planning their trip to experience this new land. We hope those lucky enough to board ‘The Falcon’ will enjoy their journey with us, even more.”

Virgin Holidays is also offering a special experience to holidaymakers traveling to Walt Disney World between February 15th and 22nd – known as The Ultimate Virgin Holidays Star Wars Experience.

Guests will enjoy flights to and from Orlando on board “The Falcon” – which promises to have special enhancements to the flight. They will also get Early Park Access; enjoy a dessert party at Epcot – Star Wars-themed of course; a seven-night stay at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge; park tickets for all seven days; a Disney dining plan; and Star Wars-themed magic bands.

Those participating in the special experience will also enjoy the ease of private transfers and an immersive Star Wars dining experience with characters and a Disney Imagineer.

Those not traveling on “The Falcon” can participate in Virgin Atlantic’s social media competition, where the winners will win two seats for The Ultimate Virgin Holidays Star Wars Experience, by posting photos of the plane with the hashtag ‘TheFalcon’. To be considered for the drawing, you must post before October 9th.

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United Puts Financial Losses Into Shocking Perspective



With the demand for travel at an all-time low thanks to stay-at-home directives and severe travel restrictions, United Airlines on Thursday put the industry’s financial losses into a stark perspective.

According to the aviation blog The Points Guy, which had privy to view a virtual town hall held by the carrier, United is losing “over $100 million a day” due to the impact of the coronavirus global pandemic, United president Scott Kirby said.

Kirby conducted the town hall along with current CEO Oscar Munoz, who is stepping down in favor of Kirby later this year.

As The Points Guy pointed out, United cut almost 70 percent of its schedule in April with further cuts likely for May—as all airlines have. In fact, predictions going forward are dire. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said they expect airlines to lose a collective $61 billion in the second quarter of this year (April, May and June).

United said it will pursue some of the $25 billion in grants available for employee compensation from the U.S. government stimulus package, as well as consider whether to apply for some of the $25 billion in loans. But this is all uncharted territory for the industry, even after the financial devastation from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“One of the lessons from this is, our stress test from 9/11 wasn’t stressful enough,” Kirby said in reference to United’s preparations and need for cash to keep operating.

United has not decided whether to permanently retire any jets as a result of the coronavirus, according to The Points Guy.

“If we want to emerge stronger, if we want to emerge the world’s leading airline on the other side of this, we have to have flexibility,” he said.

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