Barbados has become Aer Lingus' first Caribbean destination, as the airline’s first non-stop service from Manchester to Bridgetown departed this morning.

The flights will operate twice weekly until the beginning of November, when they will then increase to three times per week.

Aer Lingus said the route will operate on an Airbus A330-300 series, with both economy and business class fares.

"Barbados has a long, shared history with Ireland, one which is of great significance and importance to the many Barbadians of Irish heritage," said Barbados Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator the Hon Lisa Cummins.

"Aer Lingus' new route from Manchester to Bridgetown allows us to further grow the relationship between our two countries.

"With connectivity from both Dublin, Belfast, and Cork, it is now easier than ever for Irish visitors to discover our beautiful island," she said.