Virgin Atlantic to offer direct flights Edinburgh to Barbados and Orlando

Virgin Atlantic, the British premier carrier, has said earlier this month that it will set up a base in Edinburgh later this year, offering direct flights to Barbados and Orlando.

It’s the first time that Virgin Atlantic will operate international flights from the Scottish capital in its 37-year history. The flight to Barbados will be Scotland’s only direct service to the Caribbean and will launch on December 5, 2021. Flights to Orlando, the theme park capital of the world, will launch on March 30, 2022.

The new Caribbean flights will operate twice weekly on an Airbus A330, while the new Orlando flights will also be twice weekly, operating on an Airbus A330-200. The fares start from £419 and customers on the Barbados route will be able to choose to fly in one of three cabins on the A330.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘A premier city like Edinburgh deserves premier airlines and we are extremely excited to welcome our newest partner Virgin Atlantic to Scotland’s capital city.

‘To be able to deliver flights to Barbados, Scotland’s only direct route to the Caribbean, and Orlando is a fantastic boost to us as we prepare for the post-Covid recovery, and it is a huge show of confidence in Edinburgh Airport’s ability to deliver for passengers across the country.

‘We look forward to the new routes launching and watching passengers head off on the holiday of a lifetime from Edinburgh Airport with Virgin Atlantic.’

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: ‘Commencing international flights from Edinburgh marks an exciting new chapter for Virgin Atlantic and we couldn’t be happier to be flying from a new home in Scotland. I know our teams are itching to show Edinburgh the Virgin Atlantic spirit and flair we’re famous for.

‘Our two new routes provide an array of holiday options to suit everyone. From family fun and the thrills of Orlando’s theme parks to the stunning beaches and chilled out vibes in Barbados, we’re confident there’s something to love for all of our Scottish customers.’

Virgin Atlantic will be joining its joint venture partner, Delta Air Lines, at its new home in Scotland. Delta currently flies to both New York and Boston from the Scottish capital, with additional partners Air France KLM operating services to both Paris and Amsterdam.

Virgin Atlantic announces new route from Manchester to Montego Bay

Virgin Atlantic has announced new services from Manchester to Montego Bay in Jamaica, and will also increase the frequency of its flights from Manchester to Barbados.

The UK airline has resumed flying from Manchester on August 7 with flights to Barbados, and as travel restrictions begin to relax, will be restarting services to Orlando, Atlanta, New York and Islamabad over the coming months. The new Caribbean services to Montego Bay and Barbados will serve increasing demand from consumers in the northwest for a relaxing holiday to a sunny destination.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented, ‘We’re thrilled to announce that we have added Jamaica to our portfolio of destinations flying from Manchester, our home in the north, along with increasing frequency to Barbados.

‘We are seeing a real demand from our customers in the northwest for luxury holidays in the sun as they are keen to escape on their next adventure after a challenging year. Both Jamaica and Barbados offer the ultimate getaway for those looking to enjoy island life, from hiking incredible waterfalls, surfing at white sand beaches, exploring distinct local caves, to swimming with sea turtles, the tropical island’s offer something for everyone.

‘We look forward to welcoming customers heading off on holiday or travelling to visit their loved ones back onboard.’

Virgin Atlantic will launch thrice-weekly seasonal winter services from Manchester Airport commencing on November 6 on the airline’s Airbus A330-300 aircraft with 31 Upper Class, 48 Premium and 185 Economy Delight, Classic and Light seats. Services will go on sale from August 18, 2021 with return Economy flights starting from £428 per person.

Karen Smart, Managing Director at Manchester Airport, said, ‘It’s wonderful to see Virgin Atlantic further increase its flying programme from Manchester Airport this winter, making a further commitment to the North. We look forward to supporting Virgin Atlantic with launching these new flights this winter, knowing Jamaica and Barbados are popular destinations for our customers.’

Further to the launch of its Manchester service to Jamaica, from November 20, Virgin Atlantic will be increasing its Heathrow services to Jamaica, from three flights up to daily as well as increasing flying from Heathrow to Barbados, from daily flights to 11 times a week.

Virgin Atlantic earlier launched new flights from Edinburgh with flights to Barbados and Orlando. Additional new services include a new winter seasonal service from London Heathrow to St Lucia as well as new services to the Bahamas launching on November 20, and the first direct service from Europe to St Vincent and the Grenadines in October 2021.

Virgin Atlantic announces new services from Heathrow and Manchester starting October

Virgin Atlantic has announced new fights from Manchester and London Heathrow with services commencing from October 2020 onwards.

For the first time, Virgin Atlantic will fly to India from Manchester starting October 26. Along with the airline’s double daily service from Heathrow to Delhi and daily service from Heathrow to Mumbai, the airline will now offer over 600,000 seats per year between the UK and India. The new thrice a week service – on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday – will fly on an A330-200 aircraft. Return Economy fares start from £535 per person. Flights are on sale from March 3, 2020 at www.virginatlantic.com.

From January 2021, customers will now have more opportunities to fly to Barbados in the Caribbean. In addition to daily flights from Gatwick and a seasonal flight from Heathrow in winter, Virgin Atlantic will now fly a Boeing 747 three times a week on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday from Manchester. Return Economy fares from £564 per person.

In addition, Virgin Atlantic will add a daily seasonal winter service to Cape Town service from Heathrow complementing the existing daily A350 service to Johannesburg. Flying on a 787-9 aircraft, this new service launches on 25 October. The VS478 will operate as a night flight departing Heathrow at 16:20 arriving into Cape Town at 05:55 whereas the inbound, the VS479, will depart at 08:00, arriving 18:00. Return Economy fares start from £713 per person.

Further, as the only UK airline flying direct to Havana, Virgin Atlantic will add an additional weekly service to the city. Now flying three times a week on a Tuesday, Friday and Sunday on a 787-9 aircraft, Virgin Atlantic is offering 45 percent more capacity to the city compared to winter 2019. Return Economy fares are from £696 per person.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic commented: ‘2020 is an extremely exciting year of continued growth for Virgin Atlantic and increasing our presence out of Manchester is a huge focus for us. Not only are we the headline sponsor of the Manchester Pride Festival but we’re delighted to announce a new service flying three times a week from Manchester to Delhi, additional capacity into Barbados from Manchester as well as a Clubhouse opening this summer. This year will also see Flybe transform into Virgin Connect, and we’re excited to offer customers flying from the north 47 daily flights throughout the UK, Ireland and across Europe.’

‘2020 marks our 20th anniversary of flying to India and as the destination continues to grow in popularity for both business and leisure travel, we’re thrilled to fly to Delhi for very first time from Manchester, our home in the north. Additionally, we look forward launching new services from Heathrow to Sao Paulo and Cape Town as well as increasing capacity on our Heathrow to Havana route.’

Courtesy Rent-A-Car offers Barbados adventure

Barbados based car rental firm, Courtesy Rent-A-Car, has announced a new programme for adventure travel fans.

The firm has announced that it is now offering a new U-Drive Adventure Holidays and Adventure Travel Tours programme. This programme offers special services to help the adventure tourist while on a visit to the Barbados. A UNESCO World heritage site, the Caribbean island offers adventure pastimes, including aerial treks, hikes, kite-surfing, world class surfing, off road safaris, submarine excursions, scuba diving and so on.

The car-rental company is now promoting its ‘U-Drive Adventures’ programme, which offers guests free passes to some of the most popular activities on the island. Once a car is hired from the company under the programme, the firm takes the responsibility for enhancing the adventure content of the tour by arranging activities on behalf of the client. Special packages, such as free access to the zip line adventure can be arranged for the guest.

Ian Proverbs, manager of Courtesy Rent-A-Car, said, ‘For the more adventurous we offer free passes to attractions like the aerial zip line, where our clients can enjoy a completely different perspective flying between the mahogany trees.’

If the zip wire sounds daunting, tourists can get a free pass to less-daunting, but equally popular experiences, such as the Concorde Experience, where guests enjoy a simulated flight and learn about supersonic travel. The services are provided on a grounded Concorde plane that was retired in Barbados.

Courtesy Rent-A-Car Barbados, which has been in business for 35 years, claims to have a broad selection of cars from budget to luxury sedans and 4×4 jeeps. It is also the latest company to join AXSES’ SocialIndexEngine (SIE) Marketing, a tourism promotion campaign.

Bridgetown added to UNESCO World Heritage list

Bridgetown, a popular tourist destination in Barbados, West Indies, has been added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Site list.

UNESCO officially handed over the honours to Bridgetown at its 35th session in Paris. After adding the site to the prestigious list, UNESCO said that Bridgetown and its Garrison are considered as ‘an outstanding example of British colonial architecture, offering a story which testifies to the spread of Great Britain’s Atlantic colonial empire.’ The addition to the list enhances the status of Bridgetown and places it in par with other world-renowned cultural sites such as the Pyramids, the Statue of Liberty and the Great Wall of China.

The city of Bridgetown is the capital and largest city of Barbados, and was formerly known as the Town of Saint Michael. It is governed as a political constituency within the national parliament. English settlers who landed here sometime during the 1620s have helped grow the city as an important financial, informatics, convention centre and cruise ship port of call in the Caribbean.

Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison site were considered for nomination after Barbados became a signatory to the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage Convention in 2002.

The Garrison Historic Area is situated about two miles south of Heroes Square in Bridgetown and had many relics of history such as historic horse race-track and barracks for military personnel. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Garrison was the headquarters for members of the British West Indies Regiment in Barbados. There is also a building in this place where George Washington stayed for some time with his sick brother. The Garrison Historic Area also witnessed the official transfer of power from the British to Barbados.

The Fairmont Royal Pavilion Barbados Hotel Offers Summer Sale

Travellers to Barbados in the Caribbean Sea may wish to consider staying at The Fairmont Royal Pavilion Barbados Hotel as it launches its ‘Sensational Summer Sale’.

The 76-guestroom hotel sets out to create a very English ambience with its taste and decor, and it is located on the island’s Platinum Coast, which is around 32 km from the Grantley Adams International Airport, and 12.8km from the capital city of Bridgetown.

The hotel is offering sale prices on its rooms with up to 60 percent savings on regular rates for the summer of 2012, which also includes complimentary accommodation for one child, as well as numerous complimentary activities, including water sports and other recreational pastimes, as well as complimentary fitness facilities, Wi-Fi access, and an Afternoon Tea service.

While regular rates commence from £322 per room, per night, summer special rates are being offered from £128 per room, per night, on bookings made until June 27, 2012.

The hotel dining venues include two restaurants, the Palm and the Taboras, which claim to offer gourmet dining experiences, while conference and event facilities include small meeting rooms, pool and beachside locations, and private dining rooms.

The hotel, which is for adults-only from November to march, offers complimentary children’s activities and entertainment every day during the main summer season, which includes Bajan sporting games, water sports, beach cricket and soccer, treasure hunts, and movies.

The hotel also offers a Green Partnership initiative for sustainable tourism, which includes energy and water conservation, waste management, and a community outreach programme for collaborative projects involving hotel staff and local groups.