Tobago discontinues Virgin Atlantic flight from UK
Posted Oct 14, 2022
The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) will be discontinuing its airline contract with Virgin Atlantic for airlift between Tobago and the UK. This is the result of a strategic review and realignment of the Agency’s investment in airlift for the destination.
On December 31, 2022, Virgin Atlantic will cease to operate its direct weekly flight to the ANR Robinson International Airport in Tobago, which departs from London Heathrow in the UK. As noted by TTAL’s Executive Chairman Ms. Alicia Edwards, the difficult decision to discontinue the airlift contract was necessary in the current operating climate, as Virgin’s flight has not performed as well as other carriers for the region, and is no longer a financially viable option for Tobago.
Ms. Edwards stated:
“The return on investment for the Virgin Atlantic airlift subsidy funded by the public sector has been deteriorating steadily over the years, to the point where the renewal of their contract could not be logically defended and executed.
In reassessing our destination’s tourism product, state of the industry post-pandemic and other tangible considerations, destination Tobago is not the best fit for a partnership with Virgin at this time. The Agency, and by extension the destination, is grateful to the Virgin team for their tenure of the partnership, and we are confident that we will be able to revisit a relationship with them in the future.”
Tobago currently retains multiple airlift options for the UK and European markets, including a British Airways flight operating twice weekly flight between London Gatwick Airport and Tobago. British Airways also operates five flights per week between London and Port of Spain, with a 20-minute transfer to Tobago via the domestic Caribbean Airlines route.
In an effort to mitigate any short-falls from the discontinuation of the Virgin Atlantic service, as well as to bolster the current initiatives being done to promote Destination Tobago within the UK market –TTAL has already embarked on a Joint Winter Marketing Campaign with their overseas representatives.
In addition to this, TTAL shall be collaborating with British Airways to implement the roll out of a marketing plan with the aim of increasing ticket sales to Tobago through their booking platforms.
TTAL is also facilitating alternative arrangements for Virgin Atlantic customers who would have purchased tickets with dates booked after the carrier’s date of discontinuation.
The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited remains committed to working alongside its key partners and stakeholders to ensure that the Agency’s mandates are implemented and achieved.
For more information about accessing Tobago, including airlift options, please visit www.tobagobeyond.com