Virgin Atlantic Celebrates a Quarter Century of Direct Flights to Barbados

British airline, Virgin Atlantic,  proudly marks a significant milestone as it celebrates 25 years of direct service to Barbados. 


Celebrating A Remarkable Milestone

In a grand celebration coinciding with World Tourism Day, the official 25th-anniversary flight arrived at Grantley Adams International Airport with none other than the visionary owner of Virgin Atlantic, Sir Richard Branson, on board. The arrival was met with a warm and festive welcome led by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley and the Chair of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI), Shelly Williams.

“We are thrilled to celebrate 25 years of Virgin Atlantic’s direct service to our island. This milestone is a testament to the strong partnership between Virgin Atlantic and Barbados, and it reflects the enduring appeal of our destination to travellers from around the world. We look forward to continuing this successful journey together, welcoming visitors to our shores, and showcasing the warmth and beauty of Barbados for many more years to come,” said Shelly Williams.

To commemorate this achievement, a special press conference was held on Tuesday, September 26th at Sea Breeze Hotel, which was attended by key representatives from both Virgin Atlantic and BTMI.

“Our partnership with Virgin Atlantic has ensured that Barbados is accessible to UK visitors, which is our number one source market. We have tirelessly worked to provide authentic experiences that entice travellers to repeatedly come back to our island. That’s why we are very excited to soon welcome Virgin Atlantic’s new Airbus A330neo to Barbados. This aircraft is designed to provide a premium and personalised experience which we can’t wait for travellers en route to Barbados to enjoy,” stated Marsha Alleyne, Chief Product Development Officer. 


Facilitating Regional Travel

Barbados and Virgin Atlantic’s relationship began in 1998, which has consistently strengthened over the last two decades. Throughout the years, we have seen an increase in capacity and provision of new fleets which has helped in making Barbados a travel hub for the Eastern Caribbean. 

“As we know many of the flight connections are very limited between the Eastern Caribbean, so we are excited to be offering reliable services to Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. We firmly believe that offering these local multi-island options will further boost the Barbados economy as well. We’ve been here for 25 years and can’t wait to build the next 25 years on this beautiful island,” stated Chief Commercial Officer, Juha Järvinen.


Fostering Long-Lasting Partnerships

Today, the airline provides year-round daily services to Barbados from London, Heathrow with a capacity of 264 seats and an upper-class capacity that has increased from 16 seats to 31 seats. The airline also offers flights three times weekly from Manchester.

Virgin Atlantic and BTMI have consistently worked together to promote Barbados as a premier tourist destination, offering travellers world-class service, picturesque landscapes, and unforgettable experiences. As the celebration continues, both organizations are excited about the future and the opportunities that lie ahead.





About Barbados

The island of Barbados is a Caribbean gem rich in cultural, heritage, sporting, culinary and eco experiences. It is surrounded by idyllic white sand beaches and is the only coral island in the Caribbean. With over 400 restaurants and eateries, Barbados is the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. The island is also known as the birthplace of rum, commercially producing and bottling the finest blends since the 1700s. In fact, many can experience the island’s historic rums at the annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival. The island also hosts events like the annual Crop Over Festival, where A-lists celebrities like our very own Rihanna are often spotted, and the annual Run Barbados Marathon, the largest marathon in the Caribbean. As the motorsport island, it is home to the leading circuit-racing facility in the English-speaking Caribbean. Known as a sustainable destination, Barbados was named one of the world’s Top Nature Destinations in 2022 by the Traveler’s Choice Awards’ and in 2023 won the Green Destinations Story Award for Environment and Climate in 2021, the island won seven Travvy awards. Accommodations on the island are wide and varied, ranging from picturesque private villas to quaint boutique hotels, cozy Airbnbs, prestigious international chains and award-winning five-diamond resorts. Travelling to this paradise is a breeze as the Grantley Adams International Airport offers a variety non-stop and direct services from growing U.S, U.K., Canadian, Caribbean, European, and Latin American gateways. Arriving by ship is also easy as Barbados is a marquee port with calls from the world’s best cruise and luxury liners. So, it’s about time that you Visit Barbados and experience all that this 166-square-mile isle has to offer. 

For more information on travel to Barbados, visit www.visitbarbados.org, follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VisitBarbados, and via Twitter @Barbados.