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 Dec. 12, 2017, and flights go on sale from this Saturday, Feb. 25.

Currently, flights between Barbados and London are only available to Gatwick Airport.

Head of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), William Griffith, noted that the addition of the new Virgin service will open doors for Barbados.

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“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, Richard Sealy, that in 2016 Barbados recorded an all-time high of 6.7 per cent growth in air visitor arrivals. During that year, the U.K. was the primary source market, contributing 35 per cent of stay-over arrivals to the island.

5 replies on “Virgin announces new service from Heathrow to Barbados”

  1. AIA is in terrible shape and this news takes it out of the game plan for tourists from the UK and the EU.
    This is a terrible beginning for AIA. We may have to depend on the Grenadines to draw visitors from Barbados to those lovely islands.

    1. This may actual boast tourist visits to SVG via LIAT from Barbados, a country that will always be our regional hub.

  2. This should also boast traffic to the Grenadines via Mustique Airways and SVGAir. If enough traffic develops it might also tempt LIAT to re-enter the Grenadines market.

    None of this would affect AIA which will see no increase of traffic of regional carriers.

    As for LIAT, I notice that there are now direct Caribbean Airlines flights to AIA from Trinidad (with a possible stop in Grenada). I assume flights from Barbados are bound to follow. This would be great for passengers but devastating for LIAT’s bottom line.

    Stay tuned …

    1. C. ben, there are some of us that really appreciate all the time you put into researching aspects surrounding AIA. Obviously, many Vincentians do not like to hear opinions they do not agree with, and attack you with all the hate they can. I would like to see you write a few articles about what it would take to make AIA work…if that is at all possible. As you know, people in general all want to find the easiest way of doing things, but not necessarily the right way of doing things. Vincentians are notorious for this; our airport is a good example: The runway is as narrow as possible, the cheapest pre-fab control tower available, etc… If you write such an article, you may have two scenarios: the complete “hard way” which could include destroying the runway and building it to face the right direction and with quality materials instead of cheap sub-standard materials. And you may write about a less expensive way that may allow the country to get some of its’ money back after 20-30 years.
      In my opinion it would have to include a fundamental restructuring of attitudes, education, government and tax structure. Short of resurrecting Lee Kuan Yew, that will never happen.We have to stop electing total losers into the highest office.
      Hey! we could however start a new kind of adventure tourism where the visitors face the possibility of getting raped, robed or even murdered. We could have t-shirts made saying: “I survived Saint Vincent with my wallet, my life and my private parts not being violated”. Maybe the task or writing such an article is too great; it may require another 50 articles. Well, no harm in asking.

  3. Come on SVG don’t sit and hope for the best for AIA, get a National Tourism Team together and go get some business for the lovely airport. Go overseas and sell SVG; it will work!
    Plan a Summer-fest Expedition and go promote the lovely St Vincent and the Grenadines.
    Go to the UK, Canada, USA, meet with some Travel and Tour Operators, invite them over for a week or so for the Vincy Experience. Make sure CAL has your airport listing on its reservations code (AIA). I am not Vincy, but have deep ties and connections with many Vincentians. I consider myself and honorary citizen!
    The airport is a blessing for SVG, no time for criticizing, it is a National Investment for future profit. I recall when the late Prime Minister of Barbados thought to build the ABC Highway, stretching from North to South of the island, many frowned and criticized. But today the same highway is a national convenience for locals and visitors alike. “Where there is no vison the people perish!” Vincentians must be proud of such an achievement. Surely it has been a great sacrifice but it is worth it!

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