Virgin Atlantic Targets The Bahamas With New Boeing 787 Service

Virgin Atlantic is upping its offerings in the Caribbean this winter with a new service to the Bahamas. The carrier will offer twice-weekly flights to the islands from London Heathrow starting 20th November. The new route comes as part of an expansion in flights to the Caribbean, with other destinations also seeing more flights.

Virgin Atlantic, Airbus A350, Caribbean
Virgin Atlantic will deploy its trusty Boeing 787-9 on this new long-haul route. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Sunshine and beaches

As Virgin Atlantic caters to rebounding summer demand, the airline is looking onward to the winter season as well. For those looking to skip the cold winters of the UK and Europe, Virgin will offer nonstop connections to the capital of the Bahamas, Nassau, from 20th November onwards.

The flights to the sunny paradise will operate twice a week from London Heathrow on one of the carrier’s 787-9 Dreamliners. Tickets will go on sale from next Wednesday, 11th August, giving us more details about the days and timings of the long-haul flight.

Virgin Atlantic, Boeing 787, Sale
Virgin Atlantic will fly to eight Caribbean countries by this winter. Photo: Tom Boon | Simple Flying

British Airways currently flies a twice-weekly service to Nassau, which will operate thrice weekly from October onwards. Virgin Atlantic previously flew between London Gatwick and Nassau 2005 and 2007, before axing it.

A roundtrip economy flight fare on Virgin will start from £713 ($992), with premium economy and upper class both costing a few multiples higher. However, passengers hoping to fly may not have much choice currently.

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Connections

Located just off the shore of Florida, The Bahamas is  accessible with a stop in the US. However, the continuing travel ban on British and EU passengers means connectivity to the islands is drastically limited. Since US airports do not allow airside transit, it’s impossible to take connecting flights either.

As of today, the only options from the UK to The Bahamas, minus British Airways, are through Canada, with WestJet and Air Canada. However, this one-stop flight includes a long layover, taking the flight time to 27 hours. While tickets are cheaper, at under £450 ($626), they can’t beat the convenience of an 8.5-hour direct flight.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner G-VOOH
With the US travel ban showing no signs of going soon, Virgin Atlantic is well placed to captures vast swathes of demand. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

For passengers looking to fly this route, the 787-9 offers comfortable seating across the plane. The aircraft features 31 seats in Upper Class, 35 in Premium, and 192 in standard economy. While the aircraft is new, it still features Virgin’s older 1-1-1 business class herringbone product, which isn’t the most popular on the market.

Virgin Atlantic 787-9 Upper Class
While the 787’s seat might not be the most recent, it’s still a comfortable ride on red-eye flights. Photo: Daniel Gillaspia via Flickr

Advantage

The Bahamas is on the UK’s amber list, which means there are some restrictions on travel. However, with fully vaccinated passengers now able to return without a quarantine, travel to the islands should not see a decrease in demand due to the rules. Passengers only have to take a pre-departure test and one on arrival before day 2.

Virgin Atlantic 787-9
After a year and a half of tough restrictions and changing guidance, Virgin is hoping this year kicks off a sustained recovery. Photo: Getty Images

However, it’s not only the new destination getting some love from Virgin Atlantic. The airline is also boosting services to the popular country of Barbados this winter by 60%. The country will see five flights a week from Manchester and 11 flights a week from Heathrow after 31st October. Get ready for some sun this winter!

What do you think about Virgin Atlantic’s new Caribbean plans? Let us know in the comments!

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