Virgin Atlantic (VS, London Heathrow) has announced it will launch a new 2x weekly route from London Heathrow to St. Vincent Argyle Int'l in June 2021, marking the first intercontinental service out of the Caribbean microstate.

The airline said it would use 264-seater A330-300s on the route.

"St. Vincent and the Grenadines as well as the Caribbean region as a whole, represent an extremely exciting opportunity for us. With many islands implementing rigorous COVID-19 protocols including testing before arrival and a short quarantine period for visitors, the islands are open for tourism and are a haven for travellers in search of sun," Chief Commercial Officer Juha Jarvinen said.

According to the ch-aviation capacities module, St. Vincent currently sees domestic and regional scheduled services, including flights from the United States and Canada. The largest operator at Argyle Int'l airport is SVG Air (SVD, St. Vincent Argyle Int'l) with a 38.3% market share by weekly seating capacity.

Virgin Atlantic said it was targeting both tourists and travellers seeking to visit friends and families. The airline's Caribbean network currently comprises services to Antigua, Bridgetown, Grenada, and Montego Bay. It said it was planning to restart flights to Port of Spain within the coming months.

Meanwhile, another Caribbean state is hoping to boost its position as an international travel market through the construction of a new airport capable of serving long-haul flights. Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit recently revealed that the government has already bought 411 acres (around 1,660,000 square metres) of land. The new airport, which is set to be located near the existing Dominica Douglas-Charles airport, will be entirely funded through contributions from Dominica's Citizenship for Investment programme. The government has been setting aside USD5 million income from the programme every year for the last few years.

Dominica Douglas-Charles airport has a single 1,756-metre-long runway and sees only regional services to other destinations in the Caribbean.