Virgin Atlantic has confirmed plans to drop flights between Gatwick and St Lucia from next year.

The carrier has been flying to the Caribbean island nation for over 20 years, but will cease the service next June.

In a statement provided to Business Traveller the airline said:

“As part of a recent network review, we’ve evolved our Caribbean offering, to ensure we continue to serve destinations most loved by our customers.

“The proposed changes mean we will increase flights from London Gatwick to Antigua, boosting services from three per week to four per week, from June 8, 2020. Our Havana service will also move from London Gatwick to Heathrow and will remain the UK’s only direct scheduled flight to Havana. The service will move onto the A330-300, increasing Upper Class capacity by 63 per cent and will open up more hub connections from across the UK.

“Unfortunately, this means we will cease flying to St Lucia for the foreseeable future. It‘s never easy to withdraw from a destination and it’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly. We’d like to thank our customers and teams in St Lucia for their loyalty and dedication over the last 21 years and are sad to say goodbye to this fantastic island.

“Flights will continue to operate between Gatwick and St Lucia as planned, until June 8, 2020 and we will continue to serve hotels in St Lucia through connecting flights via our partner airlines. Customer bookings for Virgin Atlantic flights departing up to and including June 7, 2020 will not be impacted. Flights to Grenada and Tobago will now connect through Antigua.

“Additional changes to our Gatwick network will include new routes to North America, together with joint venture partner Delta Air Lines. As we announced earlier this year, we intend to grow from London Gatwick with new routes to New York JFK and Boston. Full schedule information will be revealed in due course.”

British Airways also serves St Lucia from Gatwick, while Thomas Cook flies seasonally from Manchester, and Tui will also operate a seasonal route from Gatwick this winter.