Virgin Atlantic has launched its first direct services between London Gatwick and Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. Sir Richard Branson and local VIPs greeted the passengers on arrival into Kingston which is Virgin Atlantic’s eighth destination in the Caribbean and 30th destination worldwide. The twice-weekly flights will be operated by Virgin’s 451-seat Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic commented:
“We are delighted to be able to offer new flights to Jamaica so soon after we launched our Montego Bay services last year. We are doubling Virgin Atlantic’s capacity between London and Jamaica to almost 200,000 seats a year.
“These new flights will mean that Jamaicans, many of whom have strong links with the UK, will have competitive fares on offer along with the world class service Virgin Atlantic is renowned for. The services will also ensure that British visitors continue to have the best access to Jamaica, with thousands of tourists set to significantly boost the region’s economy in the years ahead.”
The airline has operated twice-weekly flights between Gatwick and Montego Bay since July 2006, flying over 70,000 passengers between London and Jamaica to date. The new services come after a signing of an agreement with Air Jamaica and follows Air Jamaica’s decision to cease operations between the UK and Jamaica.
Virgin Atlantic flight VS069 will leave Gatwick on Tuesday and Saturday mornings at 09:25, arriving at 14:20 each day in Kingston, while flight VS070 will depart Kingston on Tuesday and Saturday evenings at 17:35, arriving into Gatwick on Wednesday and Sunday mornings at 07:15. Flights between Gatwick and Montego Bay will continue to operate every Monday and Wednesday.
The codeshare deal will see Air Jamaica place its code on Virgin Atlantic flights operating to and from Kingston, as well as Montego Bay. In turn, Virgin Atlantic will add its VS code to internal, connecting Air Jamaica flights between Montego Bay and Kingston aiding seamless travel across the island. The new codeshare agreement adds to the existing cooperation between Air Jamaica and Virgin Atlantic which includes links between the two carriers’ frequent flyer schemes, 7th Heaven and Flying Club.