Virgin to fly out again this Friday

British-based airline Virgin Atlantic is set to have an additional flight from Barbados to the United Kingdom tomorrow, Friday, March 27.

While the airline had indicated that its last flight from the Grantley Adams International Airport would have been Monday, March 23, in correspondence sent to the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) yesterday, it stated that approval was given to provide an additional flight to facilitate British citizens who are still in Barbados and desirous of getting back home.

The correspondence, signed by Andre Bello, Virgin Atlantic’s Commercial Manager for the Caribbean, called on its industry partners “to help in encouraging guests” who flew with that airline to register their contact details on the “away from home form” on the company’s website. According to the website, the company will as soon as seats become available, get in touch with those who are registered, to rebook a flight home for them.

Speaking to The Barbados Advocate yesterday evening, Chief Executive Officer of the BHTA, Senator Rudy Grant, confirmed receipt of the correspondence from Virgin, explaining that the airline had previously communicated that they may have some repatriation flights after March 23.

“You may be aware that the British High Commission would have circulated, what they would have referred to as a COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice, advising British nationals against all but what they refer to as essential international travel, and where the Foreign Secretary is advising British travellers to return to the UK now,” he said.

In that vein, Grant indicated that the BHTA with its member hotels, are assisting in informing UK nationals who wish to go back home, about the additional flight so that they can make the necessary arrangements. Senator Grant made the point as he noted that while another such repatriation flight could occur, at present there is no indication as to if or when that airline would facilitate such travel between Barbados and the UK, which is this country’s largest source market for visitors.

“The reason why repatriation flights would take place is because when Virgin would have suspended their service, there still would have been persons in Barbados who were unable to get on those flights going back to the UK because those flights were full... So persons are being encouraged to utilise these flights going back to the UK,” he noted.

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