December 2017: Saturday 16th December marked Thomas Cook Airlines’ inaugural flight from Gatwick Airport to Barbados departed to a Bajan carnival event.

The weekly flight from Gatwick joins three-times weekly flights to Barbados from Manchester. Across Thomas Cook Group Airlines, over 265,000 seats are available to Caribbean destinations in the Winter 17/18 season, a 11% increase on Winter 16/17.

The 9 hour 5 minute direct flight from Gatwick operates on a Saturday on the Airbus A330-200 from 16 December 2017 until 23 March 2018.

In partnership with Visit Barbados and Gatwick Airport, the 322 lucky customers on the inaugural were swept up in the Bajan spirit at check-in with a steel band and carnival dancers in traditional Bajan dress. At the gate, the band and dancers continued to entertain as rum punch cocktails and cake was served and customers were given a beach bag gift to take on their holiday. Captain Maurice Flemmings was also celebrating as the flight would be his last before retiring.

Christoph Debus, Chief Airlines Officer for Thomas Cook Airlines said, “It’s fantastic that we were able to mark the occasion with a lively event for customers at Gatwick Airport. We’re looking forward to a successful winter programme to Barbados from both Gatwick and Manchester and are thrilled to be adding to our growing winter Caribbean programme across the group.”

Sharon Confue, Head of Sales UK for Thomas Cook Airlines said, “We have a long and established relationship with Barbados and theBTMI, and I am delighted that we can nowoffer this fantastic and beautiful destination to our customers throughout the UK, with the addition of Gatwick to our Manchester programme.”

Stephen King, Head of Airline Relations, Gatwick Airport, said: “We are delighted to help launch Thomas Cook Airlines’ new Gatwick flight to Barbados, an idyllic Caribbean island that always proves popular with UK travellers. Barbados has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and clear blue seas and visitors have a wealth of activities to enjoy, from water sports and golf to the island’s rainforest and wildlife.

“This new service is yet another boost to Gatwick’s 60 strong long haul network which now connects the UK to destinations across the globe.”

Cheryl Carter, UK Director of BTMI (Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.) said: ‘The addition of the Thomas Cook service from London to Barbados is great news, as it makes Barbados even more accessible to UK visitors. We encourage first time travelers and our loyal visitors to take advantage of this increased capacity and, plan their next holiday in Barbados now.’

Thomas Cook Airlines – Gatwick to Barbados is a Saturday flight during the Winter 2018 season from 16th December until 23 March 2018. Prices start from £209.99 one-way or a 7 night return from £369.99.