Barbados And British Airways Flying High For 70 Years, Passengers Get Free Rum.

Photograph: Commons Wikimedia. BA has been flying to Barbados since April 1st, 1954
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The Barbados Ministry of Tourism and International Transport is (slightly belatedly) celebrating British Airways’ (BA) 70 years of service to Barbados, which began on April 1, 1954.

In 1954 the first one-stop flight was operated via Bermuda, and the route continued to require a stopover until winter 1968/69 when the airline launched its first non-stop service on its London-Barbados route.

Barbados saw the first British Airways’ Concord arrive in 1977 to  to return Her Majesty the Queen home to England.

Indeed Barbados was only one of four regular destinations for The BA’s Concord and, until its final flight to Barbados decades later, the supersonic jetliner made frequent scheduled flights into and out of the country, with Barbados also used as a stop for repairs.

The final departure of British Airways’ Concord on November 17 2003 signalled the end of an era.

To mark the platinum anniversary of BA in Barbados, a number of activities took place, including the inaugural 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft service from London, Heathrow to Barbados on March 31, and BA’s Avison Points Programme promotion, which offered 400 half-term reward seats.

There was also an inflight complimentary treat of Mount Gay’s XO and Eclipse rum for passengers flying from London to Barbados, as a result of a partnership with Mount Gay Distilleries Limited.

Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s (BTMI) Chief Operations Officer, Cheryl Carter, and British Airways, Chief Commercial Officer, Colm Lacy, highlighted those activities and spoke of the long-standing partnership between Barbados and British Airways, during a press briefing at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, last evening.

Ms. Carter, who spoke on behalf of Minister of Tourism, Ian Gooding-Edghill, noted that for BA to mark a platinum anniversary service with the island signifies confidence in the partnership with Barbados, and also marks a significant chapter in Barbados’ aviation history.

The BTMI official pointed out that the airline’s expansive international network has served as an essential gateway to connecting the island with the world and fostering invaluable relationships across borders, as well as helping the island’s tourism sector rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

She indicated that the airline has plans to increase its flight capacity to Barbados, beginning in the 2024/2025 winter season, and this move will assist in the country’s efforts to provide airlift and enhance its tourism growth strategy as it seeks to pursue deeper penetration into Europe as well as the emerging markets of Middle East and Africa.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the entire team at BA for your resolute dedication to strengthening ties between London and Bridgetown… and extend a hearty thank you to British Airways for its role in supporting Barbados’ ongoing tourism recovery. We look forward to jointly steering ahead to combat the external shocks which impact the global tourism industry,” Ms. Carter stated.

Mr. Lacy emphasised that it was an honour to be commemorating the platinum anniversary of British Airways connecting London with the “beautiful island of Barbados”.

“Seventy years ago, British Airways embarked on a journey that would forge a bond between nations creating lasting friendships, and shape unforgettable memories for travellers across generations. Since our inaugural flight in 1954, we’ve been privileged to serve as a link, vital bridge between the United Kingdom and Barbados, enriching lives, facilitating business, and sharing culture. Looking ahead, our commitment to Barbados and the wider Caribbean remains as strong as ever. We are dedicated to providing our customers with a premium travel experience that surpasses expectations,” BA’s Chief Commercial Officer stated.

Speaking on the company’s decision to increase airlift capacity, he said it was because Barbados is viewed as a key destination in their network. “Our decision to offer double daily flights is driven by the strong demand and our steadfast commitment to Barbados as a key destination in our network. We are dedicated to providing our customers with more flexibility and a greater choice of flights, thereby enhancing their travel experience to this magnificent island,” Mr. Lacy said.

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