Thomas Cook Airlines’ first flight from Manchester to Tobago took off yesterday, reinforcing its 17-route long-haul network from the north-west hub.

Seven Thomas Cook agents were on the flight to find out more about what the island has to offer UK holidaymakers.

The airline is already the largest carrier to the US from Manchester and is extending its reach into the Caribbean.

The weekly winter flights will run until March 19 with return fares starting at £409 in economy and £699 in premium class.

The airline’s sales and planning director Henry Sunley, said: “Tobago’s a great destination and with our £100 million upgraded cabins, pre-order duty free service Airshoppen, and James Martin’s fantastic menu, our customers can travel in real style.

“Furthermore, our sister airline Condor, also started a new route from Munich to Tobago and Barbados this weekend. This new route perfectly complements the Thomas Cook Group Airlines routes from Frankfurt and Manchester.”

Manchester airport commercial director Stephen Turner said: “It’s great to see Thomas Cook Airlines starting another long-haul route from Manchester. Tobago is a beautiful island and the ideal destination for those looking for some winter sun.”