Thomas Cook Airlines’ inaugural flight from Gatwick Airport to Barbados has departed during a Bajan carnival event.
The weekly flight from Gatwick joins three-times weekly flights to Barbados from Manchester.
Across Thomas Cook Group Airlines, over 265,000 seats are available to Caribbean destinations in the winter season, a 11 per cent increase on last year.
The nine hours and five-minute direct flight from Gatwick will operate on a Saturday on the Airbus A330-200 from until March 23rd.
In partnership with Visit Barbados and Gatwick Airport, the 314 lucky customers on the inaugural were swept up in the Bajan spirit at check-in with a steel band and carnival dancers in traditional Bajan dress.
At the gate, the band and dancers continued to entertain as rum punch cocktails and cake was served and customers were given a beach bag gift to take on their holiday.
Captain Maurice Flemmings was also celebrating, as the flight would be his last before retirement.
Christoph Debus, chief airlines officer, Thomas Cook Group Airlines, said: “It’s fantastic that we were able to mark the occasion with a lively event for customers at Gatwick Airport.
“We’re looking forward to a successful winter programme to Barbados from both Gatwick and Manchester and are thrilled to be adding to our growing winter Caribbean programme across the group.”
Thomas Cook Group Airlines, part of Thomas Cook Group, is one of Europe’s leading airlines, consisting of three sun and beach focused leisure airlines: Thomas Cook Airlines UK, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia and Condor in Germany.