Virgin Atlantic axes plans for Edinburgh-Barbados winter service

Virgin Atlantic has dropped its plans to operate a winter 2022-23 service from Edinburgh to Bridgetown in Barbados.

A spokesperson for the airline said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, we’ve had to make careful decisions about our network, continually reviewing flying and holiday schedules.

“Unfortunately, we have had to take the difficult decision to suspend plans to operate Edinburgh-Barbados services this winter, with customers being contacted from this weekend to inform them of the cancellations and their options.

“We’re very sorry for disrupting customers’ plans, however, we know Barbados is a firm winter-sun favourite and we will continue to operate services from Heathrow and Manchester.”

Affected customers will automatically be booked on to a Manchester service, “with all reasonable transport costs to and from Manchester reimbursed”.

If this re-routing is not suitable, affected customers can choose a voucher or a full refund. Those who booked via a third party such as a travel agent are advised to contact them directly for their options.

The spokesperson added: “We’ll continue to evaluate new routes for our Edinburgh gateway and remain fully committed to serving our Scottish customers, in close cooperation with our partners at Edinburgh airport.

“For our customers who love travelling to Barbados, regular services will continue to the Caribbean island from Manchester and London Heathrow this winter.”

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A winter service from Edinburgh to Barbados was announced on August 11, 2021, and operated from December 5, 2021, to February 22, 2022.

The services had been due to commence again on December 12, 2022.

Barbados services will operate five times a week this winter from Manchester and up to twice a day from Heathrow.

Virgin Atlantic started twice-weekly services from Edinburgh to Orlando in Florida on March 30.

Cheryl Carter, UK and Ireland director at Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI), commented: “BTMI are aware of Virgin Atlantic’s decision and understand its position.”

The tourist board said in an update: “Virgin Atlantic continues to be an important partner to BTMI, the UK travel industry and for tourism to Barbados.

“Visitors to Barbados from Scotland and northern England have numerous options when flying to Bridgetown.

“Aer Lingus and Virgin Atlantic fly direct to Barbados from Manchester throughout the winter.

“Aer Lingus have just announced the renewal of their winter 2022-23 Manchester service after a successful inaugural year in 2021-22.

“British Airways connect seamlessly from multiple Scottish airports via London Heathrow to Barbados with up to three flights a day in peak season, including a Gatwick service in the winter.

“Barbados had a very successful winter 2021-22 season with visitor numbers back to 2019 levels. All hoteliers reported a very strong season.”

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