Christmas (already!) to Barbados
Virgin are to launch a new service from Heathrow to Barbados using an Airbus A330 (so not the Dreamliner in the picture - sorry!), with flights going on sale towards the end of the month. These flights will be in time for the Christmas (Christmas??) rush. They will start on the 12th December and operate twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Barbados has traditionally been a Gatwick destination, so it is nice to see a Heathrow option being added. That said, Christmas fares will not be cheap - Gatwick to Barbados for December (that is, after the schools finish) are already at £1261.10 a pop from Gatwick (on British Airways) - and that's with the flights in the Christmas peak period still showing plenty of availability on both BA and Virgin.
Compare that fare with the same availability for November (same dates, but a month earlier) - fares are available at £559.10 a throw, "all in". However, airlines are waking up to the "pre-school-end" market. The base fare for Barbados starts to creep up from £282 return on the 13th December to £344 on the 15th December and after the 16th December it rises to a whopping £919.00.
So, even if you take your children out of school a few days earlier, you will not get the best fare. £344 is better than £919, of course - but it is not £282.
At least with Virgin flying from Heathrow, there will be more capacity on this popular Christmas route but as for fares, do not expect any early Christmas presents!