British Airways is set to restore its year-round daily direct Heathrow-Barbados service in the autumn after a 15-year hiatus.
BA restarted three-times-weekly Gatwick-Bridgetown flights in mid-July, which will expand to a daily service from 1 October until April 2021.
Its non-stop Heathrow-Bridgetown service will resume a fortnight later on 17 October.
“For more than 15 years, Barbados has been engaging British Airways on the re-establishment of Heathrow as the gateway to Barbados, following the retirement of its Concorde service," said minister of tourism Lisa Cummins.
"We are thrilled to see this finally come to fruition as it opens the door for us, quite literally, for growth opportunities in cities and continents that were once out of our reach."
Cummins said the route would bolster connectivity from all parts of the UK, and offer "seamless connections" with BA’s European network. She added it would allow Barbados to explore new markets such as Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and the Far East.
BA’s Gatwick service will depart at 11.20am, arriving 3.05pm, while the Heathrow flight will depart at 2.30pm, arriving 6.15pm. The new BA service will be operated by a four-class 777-200 aircraft.
“Post-Covid-19, with British Airways seeing the contraction of various routes, the opportunity presented itself for this service and we were determined to secure it," Cummins continued.
"Understanding the challenges currently faced by our industry, it is critical for us to be both smart and aggressive with our growth strategy, and this represents that."
Cummins added: "The UK continues to be our primary source market. In 2019, Barbados reported record arrivals from the UK – 234,658 of the destination’s overall 712,945.
"We therefore expect this addition will bring us even more favourable results as we look confidently ahead to our future."
A BA spokesperson said: "To give our customers more choice, we’re introducing a daily service from Heathrow to Barbados to complement the daily Gatwick service we’ll also offer to the Caribbean hotspot.
"We believe the new Heathrow-Barbados schedule will work particularly well for customers who wish to connect through Heathrow from our worldwide network."