(By Ernesto Cooke) – Virgin Atlantic is delighted to announce it will be launching the first flight from Europe to St Vincent with new services to the Caribbean island departing from London Heathrow.
The twice-weekly service will launch in June 2021 and will operate on the airline’s A330-300 aircraft boasting 31 Upper Class, 48 Premium and 185 Economy Delight, Classic and Light seats.
The new service aims to capture the fast-growing demand to visit and reconnect with family and loved ones as well as sunseekers looking to explore an untouched corner of the Caribbean. With deserted white sand beaches, St Vincent offers the quintessential Caribbean getaway.
The island also serves as the gateway to the Grenadines, a collection of 32 islands and cays full of yacht-filled harbours, chic private isles, coral reefs and dramatic volcanic landscapes offering the perfect escape for those in search of a luxury break, eco-adventure, scuba diving or sailing voyage.
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented: “We’re delighted to launch the first flight from Europe to St Vincent and the Grenadines with our new twice-weekly service planned to launch from June 2021.
“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.
“We’re currently flying to Barbados, Antigua, Jamaica and Grenada and expect to restart Tobago in the upcoming months. We look forward to launching this new service to St Vincent next year, welcoming customers onboard heading off on holiday or travelling to visit their loved ones.”
Glen Beache, CEO, St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority commented: “The government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are extremely pleased to welcome Virgin Atlantic to our shores. It is only fitting that the most diverse destination in the Caribbean works with one of the best airlines in Europe. This partnership will not only change the way in which potential visitors look at us, but it will also play a big role in the number of times the diaspora visit their home yearly. The arrival of Virgin Atlantic will have a positive and lasting effect on the product that is St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Virgin Atlantic restarted passenger flying on 20th July after a three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently operating to 15 destinations from London Heathrow including New York JFK, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Barbados, Johannesburg and Delhi with further routes being added throughout 2021.
To ensure the health and safety of customers and crew, Virgin Atlantic is implementing additional measures to offer peace of mind in the airport and when taking to the skies. These include enhanced and thorough cleaning practices at check in, boarding gates and onboard including the use of electrostatic spraying of high-grade disinfectant in all cabins and lavatories before every flight, ensuring no surface is left untouched. Safe distancing will also be adhered to wherever possible, and mask wearing will be required throughout the journey. All customers will be provided with a personal Health Pack for their health and safety, which will contain three medical grade face masks to be worn onboard, surface wipes and hand gel.
The airline is offering a temporary simplified hot food service in all cabins redesigned to limit interaction, enclosed and controlled from preparation in a Covid-safe, monitored environment to the moment it is served. Economy and Premium Economy customers will now enjoy a “Fly safe, eat well” meal box, which incorporates a choice of three hot meals, cheese and biscuits and a dessert pot washed down with a selection of beverages. Upper Class customers will receive a choice of three hot meals, desserts, including cheese & biscuits and a ciabatta roll, all delivered to their seat on a tray. All customers will receive a second meal service which, on day flights from the UK, includes the delicious Mile High Tea in collaboration with celebrity pâtissier Eric Lanlard.
Flights to St Vincent are on sale from 24th November 2020. For further information visit www.virginatlantic.com.
St Vincent and the Grenadines is exempt from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential international travel and customers do not need to self-isolate if travelling to England from St Vincent and the Grenadines. For those travelling to St Vincent and the Grenadines, travellers from the UK must arrive with a negative PCR test taken by a certified or accredited laboratory within 5 days of arrival. Customers will also be retested on arrival and must quarantine for five days in a tourism authority approved hotel.