Virgin Atlantic (VS, London Heathrow) plans to use Barbados as a hub for expanding its services to other Caribbean destinations, according to Chief Commercial Officer Juha Jarvinen.

Speaking at an event marking the carrier's 25th anniversary of flying to Bridgetown, he said Virgin Atlantic has been rebuilding its Barbados network following the pandemic, currently offering up to 15x weekly services to the island - 11 from London Heathrow and four from Manchester International, Barbados Today Travel reported.

"We believe that Bridgetown can act as a regional hub for us. That's the reason why we are now selling these local sectors between Barbados and Grenada, and Barbados and St. Vincent Argyle International as a first step. It's to really build that local connectivity option. We believe that Barbados has, step by step, developed its position in the region and is the strongest island to build that regional hub on, and we are committed to continuing growing that together with the Barbados government and the people of Barbados," he declared.

On June 14, the carrier introduced twice-weekly inter-island flights between Bridgetown and St Vincent, and Bridgetown and Grenada, to increase to three times weekly from October. St Vincent and The Grenadines services to Heathrow will also increase to three times weekly in the winter season, and from November the airline will commence flights from Heathrow to Turks and Caicos.

While new destinations were not revealed, an announcement for 2024/25 is expected in the coming months.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, Virgin Atlantic currently serves the following Caribbean destinations: Antigua, Bridgetown (Barbados), Montego Bay (Jamaica), Nassau International (The Bahamas), Grenada, St. Vincent, and a seasonal service to St. Lucia Hewanorra.

Speaking at the same event, Barbados Tourism Marketing reported continued high demand from visitors from the United Kingdom. Of the 400,000 visitors to Barbados between January and August 2023, 150,000 were from the UK.