Manchester Airport is fast becoming a gateway to the Caribbean following the announcement by Virgin Atlantic that it will launch a new weekly service from Manchester to Barbados starting next winter (2003.)
The airline is also extending its Manchester flights to Orlando five times a week throughout winter 2003. At the moment it flies six times a week throughout the summer.
Virgin will fly direct to Barbados on Sundays at 10.25. The year-round service hopes to attract a mix of business and leisure travellers who will then be able to island-hop around the Caribbean from its Barbados staging post.
Manchester Airport already offers twice-weekly BWIA flights to Trinidad and Barbados and twice-weekly Air Jamaica flights to Kingston and Montego Bay. Both services started this summer.
John Spooner, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said: “We are delighted that Virgin is offering a direct service to Barbados. Manchester is fast becoming a launch pad for new Caribbean services, which is something our business and leisure travellers appreciate.
“We are also pleased that Virgin has shown its commitment to Manchester with its plans to extend the Orlando service through the winter season. Travellers will no doubt welcome this escape route to the winter sun.”
Councillor Brian Harrison, Chair of Manchester Airport, said: ” We are looking forward to working with Virgin Atlantic to make this new route a success. The Caribbean is growing in popularity as both a holiday and a business destination, and the number of new services that fly out of Manchester Airport to the Caribbean demonstrate that success.”
Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, said:” I am delighted Virgin Atlantic is extending the services it offers between the UK and the Caribbean. Passengers travelling from Manchester to Barbados will now be able to benefit from Virgin Atlantic`s award winning service and attractive fares.
“Our flights from Manchester to Orlando have been so successful that we are extending the service through the winter.”
Virgin launched its flights from Manchester to Orlando on 17th May 1996 using 747-200 aircraft. Last year, a total of 121,000 passengers flew in and out of Manchester on this route.