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Extra flights and holidays to the Caribbean available from Manchester in 2013

Manchester based airline Thomas Cook has recently announced that it will be offering Britons the opportunity to book Caribbean holidays from Manchester starting in the 2013 winter season. Travellers will be able to travel to two of the more popular Caribbean holiday destinations St Lucia and Antigua both via Barbados- another favorite sun, sea and sand holiday spot for many UK travellers.

Extra flights and holidays to the Caribbean available from Manchester in 2013

Britons looking to book their 2013 sunny holidays to the Caribbean now have even more options available to them as Thomas Cook Airlines announce that they will be operating flights to Caribbean holidays from Manchester. Thomas Cook will offer travellers flights to popular Caribbean holiday destinations- St Lucia and Antigua with both routes flying via Barbados from 10th November 2013 and 29th December 2013 respectively.

The Manchester based airline will be the first to challenge London's stranglehold on outgoing flights to the Caribbean region.

"It's fantastic news that we're able to offer UK travellers seat-only and holidays from Manchester to some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, initially for the coming winter season. With the recent reduction in connections from Manchester to Gatwick limiting the travel options for those from the Midlands, the North and Scotland to connect with Caribbean flights from London, we're pleased to be able to offer more flexibility and choice for our customers, competing with the very best scheduled and charter carriers" noted Thomas Cook Group's head of air travel Christoph Debus.

While 20 per cent of seats will be blocked off for travellers booking packages and Caribbean holidays from Manchester, the remaining 80 per cent will available for those customers interested in the flight only option. The prices for a return flight are expected to start from as low as £464- ideal for those travellers planning a budget holiday to Barbados, Antigua or St Lucia.

With the UK a key source market for the Caribbean holiday industry, Thomas Cook's decision will certainly have been welcomed news as the region battles against a fall in visitors from the UK. Recently released statistics from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) revealed a 12 per cent decline in UK visitors to the Caribbean since 2009 – a trend that the CTO may be able to reverse with the competitive prices and improved flexibility that Thomas Cook is now offering Britons.

The steep increases in the UK's Air Passenger Duty (APD) have made the cost of travel to the Caribbean islands more expensive than many travellers can afford. The APD, which is calculated based on the distance between London and destination's capital city, means that a family of four travelling to the Caribbean would be faced with a staggering £322 in APD compared to £280 for a holiday in Hawaii who falls into a lower tax band despite the longer distance from the UK.

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