bmi, the UK’s second largest full service scheduled airline, is to launch direct flights between Manchester and the Caribbean islands of Barbados, Antigua and St Lucia, commencing 26 November 2004.The start of Caribbean services reaffirms the status of bmi as the biggest UK provider of scheduled services across the Atlantic from any UK regional airport, and also marks a number of significant firsts. bmi will be the first and the only carrier to operate direct scheduled services from Manchester to Antigua and St Lucia, as well as the first and the only airline to offer three different classes of travel on scheduled flights from Manchester to Barbados. bmi will also be unique in providing a direct return service from Barbados for those seeking a seven day break.
The twice weekly service to Barbados will launch 26 November. Weekly services to Antigua commence 27 November and St Lucia on 1 December. Return fares for all three destinations start at £449, including taxes and can be booked from today at www.flybmi.com or by calling 0870 60 70 222.
Austin Reid, bmi chief executive, said: “The launch of services from Manchester to the Caribbean comes less than six weeks after the announcement of our new route from Manchester to Toronto, starting in April. This is a clear demonstration of our continuing commitment to provide scheduled services from the UK regions and, in particular, to long haul destinations from Manchester - a commitment that other UK scheduled carriers cannot match.
“Passengers now have no need to travel to London and onto the Caribbean services of those carriers showing little appetite or commitment to the important UK regions. Manchester’s hub status is also set to increase as our new services have been timed specifically to provide travellers to and from Scotland - and Heathrow - with convenient connections.
“Our announcement brings major benefits to those wanting to travel with the confidence, convenience and comfort of a bmi scheduled service flight.”
The schedules have been timed to connect at their destinations with a wide range of services to other popular Caribbean islands, such as the British Virgin Islands, St Kitts, Tobago, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines.