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Virgin Atlantic Fined for Operating Flights in Prohibited Airspace

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today fined Virgin Atlantic $1.05 million for operating flights carrying Delta Air Lines’ code (DL) in regions in which a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight prohibition was in effect. The airline was ordered to cease and desist from future similar violations.

An investigation by the Department’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection revealed that between September 16, 2020 and September 16, 2021, Virgin Atlantic operated a significant number of flights carrying the DL code over restricted airspace in Iraq while an FAA Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) was in effect.  By carrying the DL code on flights in airspace in which the FAA prohibits U.S. carriers from flying, Virgin Atlantic operated in violation of the conditions of its statement of authorization and in violation of federal law. 

The consent order is available at, docket number DOT-OST-2023-0001. 

For information about airline passenger rights, as well as DOT’s rules, guidance, and orders, the Department’s aviation consumer website can be found at: