Commencing Winter 2017, travellers will be able to fly directly between London Heathrow Airport and Grantley Adams International Airport, thanks to a new service from Virgin Atlantic. The new, twice weekly service will launch on December 12, 2017, and flights go on sale from Saturday, February 25.
Currently, flights between Barbados and London are only available to Gatwick Airport. CEO of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), William Griffith, noted that the addition of the new Virgin service will open doors for Barbados. "London Heathrow is the largest airport in the U.K., handling over 70 million passengers annually. These new flights will make Barbados more accessible to passengers travelling on many major airlines that only fly into London Heathrow. We expect that this new route will make Barbados a more competitive and attractive destination to visitors choosing holidays."
The flights will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays as part of the Winter 2017 schedule using an Airbus A330. This new service means that Virgin Atlantic will now offer up to 11 Barbados flights per week from three U.K. Airports – Gatwick, Manchester and Heathrow.
Shai Weiss, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, welcomed the new service, commenting that "The Caribbean has always been a core market for Virgin Atlantic and so we’re excited to announce we’re offering more choice to our customers with the option of flying from Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester direct to Barbados."
This news comes on the heels of remarks from the Minister of Tourism and International Transport, the Honourable Richard Sealy, that in 2016 Barbados recorded an all-time high of 6.7% growth in air visitor arrivals. During that year, the U.K. was the primary source market, contributing 35% of stay-over arrivals to the island.