Virgin Atlantic, which launched its direct Edinburgh-Barbados service in December, has announced it will not carry on flying the route this winter.

The airline says passengers who have already booked flights to Barbados for winter 2022-23 will be contacted by the airline or their travel agent and will be re-booked via Manchester, or they can choose a voucher or full refund.

Virgin flies three times a week from Manchester to Barbados from October to March.

The route was announced with a great deal of fanfare in December 2021.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “As we emerge from the pandemic we’ve had to make careful decisions about our network, continually reviewing flying and holiday schedules.

“Twice-weekly Orlando services commenced on 30 March from our home in Scotland, Edinburgh Airport, and is already delighting families and holidaymakers jetting to the theme park capital of the world.

“Unfortunately we have had to take the difficult decision to suspend plans to operate Edinburgh – Barbados services this Winter, with customers being contacted from this weekend to inform them of the cancellations and their options. We’re very sorry for disrupting customers’ plans, however, we know Barbados is a firm winter sun favourite and we will continue to operate services from Heathrow and Manchester.

“Customers will automatically be booked on to a Manchester service, with all reasonable transport costs to and from Manchester reimbursed. If this re-routing is not suitable, affected customers can also choose a voucher or a full refund. Those who booked via a third party such as a travel agent should contact them directly for their options.

“We’ll continue to evaluate new routes for our Edinburgh gateway and remain fully committed to serving our Scottish customers, in close cooperation with our partners at Edinburgh Airport. For our customers who love travelling to Barbados, regular services will continue to the Caribbean island from Manchester and London Heathrow this winter.”

Virgin Atlantic cabin crew with Piper Conner Pratt launched the first flight from Edinburgh to Barbados at a launch event for the new service held on 8 December 2021 as flight VS223 departed from the capital to Barbados. The twice weekly service was operated on an Airbus A330.