Virgin Atlantic, one of the world’s premier carriers, will set up home in Edinburgh later this year, offering direct flights to Barbados and Orlando.
The flight to Barbados will be Scotland’s only direct service to the Caribbean and will launch on 5 December 2021. Flights to Orlando, the theme park capital of the world, will launch on 30 March 2022.
It’s the first time Virgin Atlantic has flown international flights from the Scottish capital in its 37-year history, and the new Caribbean flights will operate twice weekly on an Airbus A330. The Orlando flights will also be twice weekly, operating on an Airbus A330-200.
The new routes offer travellers from Scotland to chance to holiday in the Caribbean, with seamless onward connections from Barbados to Grenada, St Vincent and Tobago thanks to Virgin Atlantic’s connecting flights, alongside flights with Virgin Atlantic’s interline partner, Caribbean Airlines.
The flights to Orlando will also be a huge draw for families looking to experience the world-famous theme parks, stunning beaches and various sporting events in the city and wider Florida.
Virgin Atlantic’s cargo offering will also be an advantage to firms looking to export goods from Scotland to the Caribbean and the USA. It comes as Edinburgh Airport continues to focus on growing its cargo operation to help meet the Scottish Government’s exports targets and contribute to its plan for a more sustainable future for aviation in Scotland.
Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said:
“A premier city like Edinburgh deserves premier airlines and we are extremely excited to welcome our newest partner Virgin Atlantic to Scotland’s capital city.
“To be able to deliver flights to Barbados, Scotland’s only direct route to the Caribbean, and Orlando is a fantastic boost to us as we prepare for the post-Covid recovery, and it is a huge show of confidence in Edinburgh Airport’s ability to deliver for passengers across the country.
“We look forward to the new routes launching and watching passengers head off on the holiday of a lifetime from Edinburgh Airport with Virgin Atlantic.”
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented;
“Commencing international flights from Edinburgh marks an exciting new chapter for Virgin Atlantic and we couldn’t be happier to be flying from a new home in Scotland. I know our teams are itching to show Edinburgh the Virgin Atlantic spirit and flair we’re famous for.
“Our two new routes provide an array of holiday options to suit everyone. From family fun and the thrills of Orlando’s theme parks to the stunning beaches and chilled out vibes in Barbados, we’re confident there’s something to love for all of our Scottish customers.”
Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said:
“I welcome this news of Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to Scotland, and the launch of their new service to Barbados from Edinburgh. It is encouraging to see airlines develop their connectivity to Scotland at this time and I am sure this news will be welcomed by passengers.”
Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said:
“Safely returning to transatlantic international flights is our continuing goal and today’s announcement by our longtime partner Virgin Atlantic, offering service to Edinburgh, Scotland is a step in that direction.
“From visiting historic castles to world-class golf and seafood Edinburgh offers countless opportunities for business and leisure travel.”
Fares start from as little as £419 and customers on the Barbados route will be able to choose to fly in one of three cabins on the A330, including the luxurious Upper Class, which offers an exclusive bar area and fully flat beds, or Premium, where customers can enjoy a 38” seat pitch, welcome drinks and fine dining.
Virgin Atlantic will be joining its joint venture partner, Delta Air Lines, at its new home in Scotland. Delta currently flies to both New York and Boston from the Scottish capital, with additional partners Air France KLM operating services to both Paris and Amsterdam.