Virgin Atlantic Confirms Commitment to Caribbean

Virgin Atlantic Director of Commercial and Revenue Planning, Edmond Rose, today reiterated the airline’s strong commitment to its Caribbean network, and announced that from next summer it will be bringing more high-end leisure travellers to the region.

Director of Commercial and Revenue planning Edmond Rose said: “Adding 14 per cent more Premium Economy seats to our 747s serving the Caribbean routes will bring direct economic benefits for Caribbean tourism and will also be good news for business communities which depend upon reliable premium quality services to the UK and beyond. We are sure passengers will also enjoy the new product innovations which will confirm Virgin Atlantic as the market leader in customer experience and our 747 fleet as the Queens of the Skies.”

The airline is a major driver of tourism revenue in the Caribbean, flying over 750,000 passengers between the UK and its eight destinations in the region last year, including Barbados, Cuba and Jamaica.

Speaking at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation State of the Industry conference in St Martin, Edmond Rose announced that Virgin Atlantic’s fleet of leisure aircraft between London and the Caribbean is to be completely refurbished in summer 2012. The refit will include a new onboard layout with more Premium Economy seats in a move to bring more higher-end leisure customers to the market.

The refurbishment is the first major step in a £100 million product investment announced by Virgin Atlantic following positive financial results. The Caribbean market was a key driver towards the airline’s £18 million profit last year, with load factors to the region of well over 80 per cent and Barbados out-performing all other islands with a 10 per cent year on year growth in revenue.

Edmond Rose stated: “The Caribbean is incredibly important to Virgin Atlantic with eight destinations in our network contributing over 10 per cent of our passenger revenue. We are proud of the business and revenue that is brought to the Caribbean markets through our presence and our brand and we are committed to extending that. This winter, we are increasing rotations to the region, with extra flights to Barbados, Cuba and Tobago and Grenada.”

Virgin Atlantic offers 24 round-trip services to the Caribbean each week. During Winter 2011-12, Virgin Atlantic will bring more capacity to its Caribbean flying programme, adding a second weekly flight between Barbados and Manchester, a third weekly flight from Gatwick to Havana and a second weekly service to Tobago and Grenada.

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