Virgin Atlantic will fly internationally from Edinburgh for the first time as the airline expands its range of Caribbean services this winter to cater for growing demand.
The Edinburgh-Barbados service will be Scotland’s only direct gateway to the Caribbean when it begins on December 5. Return fares for the twice-weekly Airbus A330 flights will be from £419.
The airline will also fly twice-weekly from Edinburgh to Orlando, Florida, from March 30, 2022.
There will be onward connections from Barbados to Grenada, St Vincent and Tobago with Virgin Atlantic’s connecting flights and services with the carrier’s interline partner, Caribbean Airlines.
Virgin Atlantic is also returning to St Lucia, flying from Heathrow, and launching new services from Manchester to Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The St Lucia winter service will operate three times a week starting from December 18, with return fares from £462.
Virgin’s three-times-a-week winter services from Manchester will begin on November 6, from £428.
Tickets for the new Caribbean services go on sale from August 18.
Jacqueline Dobson, president of Barrhead Travel, said the announcement about the Scottish routes is “exceptionally good news for the Scottish travel industry” and will be “instrumental in supporting Scotland’s recovery and restoring global connectivity”.
“We know our customers love these destinations and having a direct connection to the Caribbean from Edinburgh airport will open up more opportunity for the outbound industry over the next year,” she said.
“Barbados has regularly featured in our top destinations over the last few months – particularly since it moved to the green list – and we expect the direct route will generate more demand.”
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.
“Commencing international flights from Edinburgh marks an exciting new chapter.”
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh airport, added: “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.”
Virgin Atlantic recently announced it will start a Heathrow-Bahamas on November 20 and St Vincent and the Grenadines on October 13.
And from October 31, it will increase its services to Barbados from Heathrow and Manchester.
Furthermore, Virgin Atlantic is expanding its capacity to Hong Kong and India.
For the rest of August, the airline’s Mumbai route will operate on an A350, the largest in the airline’s fleet, which will increase capacity by 30%. From September, capacity to Hong Kong will rise by 80%, with four additional weekly flights and an A350 operating the route.
Pictured: Virgin Atlantic cabin crew in Edinburgh with piper Conner Pratt