Aer Lingus has launched flights from Manchester to Barbados, marking the airline’s first ever non-stop transatlantic connection from the UK.
The inaugural El 31 service departed yesterday (October 20) at 1015, with the Irish flag carrier organising a live performance at Manchester airport by Barbadian steel band Band One for the occasion.
Aer Lingus will operate twice-weekly A330-300 flights from Manchester to Barbados on Wednesdays and Saturdays until the end of April, with an additional weekly flight each Friday from October 30.
Fares start from £199 each-way as part of a return journey, and customers can also book flights as part of a holiday package thanks to the airline’s new partnership with British Airways Holidays.
From December 1, Aer Lingus will also begin to operate non-stop direct flights from Manchester to New York’s JFK airport, followed by a third route to Orlando on December 11.
Lynne Embleton, CEO of Aer Lingus, said:
“Everyone at Aer Lingus felt great pride to see our first direct, non-stop flight from Manchester to Barbados take to the skies this morning.
“We know there is strong demand for direct transatlantic services from the North of England for flights to Barbados and we’re looking forward to seeing travellers and holidaymakers enjoying the welcoming Aer Lingus experience that we’re known for.”
Karen Smart, Manchester Airport Managing Director, added:
“It’s incredibly pleasing to see Aer Lingus’ inaugural flight to Barbados take off from Manchester Airport this morning.
“Not only is it great to see the airline put this route on at Manchester, giving passengers additional choice and flexibility for this popular destination, but it is also a huge boost for the region with Aer Lingus choosing us as its first UK base for transatlantic flights.
“The routes across the Atlantic to Barbados and the USA will no doubt be hugely popular with the 22 million people that live in our catchment area, especially with the US opening up to British travellers next month. Furthermore, the routes and base here at Manchester will be welcomed by the hundreds of people who will have access to the jobs created here.”
Senator Lisa Cummins, Barbados Minister of Tourism and International Transport, also commented on the launch:
“Today, Barbados is celebrating the arrival of Aer Lingus’ first Caribbean flight from Manchester to Bridgetown. Manchester Airport is one of the busiest airports in the UK and is easily accessible from across Northern England and Scotland, by road, air and rail. Later this evening, we will be at the GAIA to receive the flight as she arrives with the first visitors!”
Meanwhile, the airline recently announced plans to resume routes to Newark and Orlando from its Dublin hub next month.