Virgin Atlantic’s Caribbean Expansion Centers Around Barbados

Virgin Atlantic is charting a new course in the Caribbean by establishing Barbados as its regional hub for expanding into other tropical destinations. The announcement was made by Chief Commercial Officer Juha Jarvinen during the airline’s 25th-anniversary celebration of flying to Bridgetown from the UK.

Highlighting Barbados’ pivotal role in their operations, Jarvinen emphasized the airline’s commitment to serving the destination. Barbados stood among the top three destinations Virgin Atlantic resumed flights to after the COVID-19 pandemic period.

We have been proudly rebuilding our Barbados network since the COVID period, and we are now operating up to 15 weekly services – 11 to Heathrow and four to Manchester,” Jarvinen stated.We have also initiated the sale of local sectors to St. Vincent and Grenada, a clear indication of our plan to establish Barbados as our regional hub. Since June, we’ve been able to sell these local sectors, further enhancing our offerings as Virgin Atlantic, while also bolstering Barbados’ economy.

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Jarvinen highlighted that Barbados has been a constant fixture in their Caribbean strategy over the past two decades. We firmly believe that Bridgetown can serve as our regional hub. This is why we’re now selling these local sectors connecting Barbados to Grenada and St. Vincent as the initial step in creating robust local connectivity,” he explained. We are confident that Barbados has gradually solidified its position in the region and stands as the prime island to develop our regional hub. We are committed to fostering this growth in collaboration with the Barbados Government and its people.

While keeping the future destinations under wraps, Jarvinen hinted at an upcoming announcement for 2024/2025, indicating Virgin Atlantic’s ambitious plans for Barbados.

Virgin Atlantic currently serves eight Caribbean islands, with two of them accessible through Barbados. Earlier this year, the airline introduced flights from Bridgetown to St. Vincent and the Grenadines thrice a week, and to Grenada twice weekly, with an increase to three times a week during the winter months.

As part of its 25-year anniversary celebrations, Virgin Atlantic is offering a $25 discount on economy travel with the airline. Tickets must be booked by October 4 for travel up to the middle of next year.

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Marsha Alleyne, Chief Product Development Officer with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), expressed gratitude to Virgin Atlantic for their unwavering commitment to Barbados over the past two and a half decades. She highlighted the strengthening relationship between the airline and the destination, marked by increased capacity and the introduction of new fleets.

Over the years, we have witnessed growth in capacity and the provision of new fleets, which has contributed to making Barbados a travel hub for the Eastern Caribbean,” Alleyne praised. In the first eight months of 2023 alone, Barbados welcomed over 400,000 visitors from the United Kingdom, with 150,000 of them originating from the UK. This underscores the UK’s significant role in our visitor arrivals and the enduring demand for Barbados as a destination for the UK market.”

Alleyne assured that Barbados would continue to collaborate closely with Virgin Atlantic to further solidify Barbados as a year-round destination.

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