29 JULY 2019
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A dispute over subsidies is thought to be behind stories surfacing in St Lucia last week that Virgin Atlantic is cancelling services to the Caribbean island from June next year.
Local press reports are suggesting the airline was seeking financial backing from St Lucia in the form of a marketing campaign in the UK or discounts on landing fees, which the island government refused.
Virgin currently flies three times a week between Gatwick to St Lucia and is reported to be planning to switch one of the slots to increase services to Antigua, which will increase to four a week with add-ons to Grenada and Tobago.
Not counting the Virgin flights, there are nine services a week between the UK and St Lucia, with daily flights from British Airways service and one flight a week from each of TUI and Thomas Cook.
In another development, Virgin is moving its Havana service from Gatwick to Heathrow on the same date next year, 8 June, and switching to an Airbus A330-300 from an ex-Air Berlin A330-200. This will enable an increase in the number of Upper Class seats from 19 to 31.
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