By Edward Thicknesse | cityam.com
Virgin Atlantic has today announced a raft of new routes serving the Caribbean as it bets on increased customer demand for sun-soaked getaways after the pandemic.
The carrier is launching its first direct flight to Barbados from Edinburgh, as well as adding extra flights to the island from Manchester and Heathrow.
In total, it will increase the number of services to the island by 70 per cent, the airline said.
Virgin Atlantic will also launch a new service from Manchester to Jamaica, as well as a new winter route from Heathrow to St Lucia.
Barbados is currently on the government’s “green list” for travel, while the other two islands are on the “amber list”.
That means that Brits who have been fully vaccinated do not have to isolate on return from the destinations, a major boost for airlines such as Virgin which depend on the lucrative transatlantic market.
The decision also to allow fully vaccinated US citizens into the UK without needing to quarantine has also aided embattled carriers.
This morning Heathrow said that the number of passengers from North America and Latin America jumped 230 and 410 per cent respectively.
Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “The Caribbean is such an important destination for us and for our customers and we couldn’t be more excited to announce our new routes, as we continue to grow our ever-expanding portfolio.
“We know customers are keen to get away on their next adventure after a challenging year and these Caribbean destinations offer the perfect escape for those travellers looking to either simply relax or explore a new corner of the world.”
The new Edinburgh-Barbados flight will start at £419 per person, with the first flight scheduled for 5 December.
Flights to St Lucia and Jamaica will cost £462 and £428 respectively.