Virgin Atlantic expands Carib service

17th Nov 2006

Virgin Atlantic Airways has launched its first direct services between

Manchester and St Lucia.  A Boeing 747-400 aircraft will operate the weekly

service every Thursday.  Virgin Atlantic currently operates a daily service

between Manchester and Orlando and a weekly Sunday service between

Manchester and Barbados.


p>Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, commented:


    “I am delighted that we are expanding our Manchester services.  We

    already operate direct from Manchester to Orlando and Barbados and I

    am confident that the new weekly service to St Lucia will also prove

    to be very popular with our passengers.


    “Virgin Atlantic’s extra capacity in our Premium Economy cabin has

    given more leisure passengers the chance to experience a more

    intimate cabin with a larger seat for comfort, priority check in,

    boarding and baggage reclaim and a welcome drink and newspaper.”


Justin Bell, Station Manger for Virgin Atlantic at Manchester Airport, also



    “Our expansion at Manchester means that Virgin Atlantic’s

    award-winning product and more of our destinations are accessible

    for passengers living in the region.  We are positive that St Lucia

    will be as popular as Orlando and Barbados have proven to be in

    recent years.”



The aircraft flying from Manchester will be configured with 14 Upper Class

seats, 58 Premium Economy seats and 379 seats in Economy.  The new flight

(VS079) will depart from Manchester International airport on a Thursday at

13:30 and arrive into Hewanorra airport, St Lucia, at 18:10 the same day.

The return flight (VS080) will depart St Lucia on a Thursday at 21:50,

arriving into Manchester at 09:50 the following morning.


Virgin Atlantic began services to the Caribbean in 1998 with direct flights

to Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua.  In 2003, the airline launched weekly

services to Grenada and Tobago and in 2005; a twice-weekly service to Cuba

and a weekly service to The Bahamas were introduced.  Earlier this year,

the airline also launched direct twice-weekly services between Gatwick and

Montego Bay, Jamaica, bringing the total of Caribbean islands Virgin

Atlantic flies to up to 8.


All Virgin Atlantic’s Manchester Boeing 747-400 fleet are fitted with the

award-winning Upper Class Suite, consisting of a reclining leather seat for

take off, a place to sit and eat a proper meal opposite your partner, the

longest fully flat bed in the world with a proper mattress for sleeping on,

a private onboard bar to enjoy a drink with your friends and four

limousines per return trip - all at a price thousands of pounds less than

other airlines’ First Class.  The Upper Class experience also includes

Drive Thru Check In, the restaurant style inflight Freedom menu and a

state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system.


Virgin Atlantic offers a unique product for Premium Economy passengers.

They can enjoy dedicated check in at all locations, priority boarding and

express baggage reclaim.  The Premium Economy seat offers a wider, more

comfortable seat with more leg room, a pre-departure drink, a choice of

liqueurs to follow dinner, a state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system

and newspaper (leaving the UK).  Virgin Atlantic’s Economy class continues

to offer passengers great value for money and includes added extras like

seat back televisions with state-of-the-art inflight entertainment,

complimentary drinks and newspaper (leaving the UK).


Virgin Atlantic flies to 27 destinations worldwide, including St Lucia,

with services to Mauritius launching in November 2007. The airline carried

five million passengers last year and has 35 aircraft in its fleet with an

average age of less than six years.

Virgin Atlantic won World’s Leading Inflight Technology award at this year’s World Travel Awards.



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