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SVGTA in talks with eight international airlines

SVGTA in talks with eight international airlines

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The St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) has been having discussions with eight international airlines in relation to establishing routes to SVG on completion of the Argyle International Airport (AIA).

Speaking at a press conference last Tuesday, January 19, chief executive officer of the SVGTA Glen Beache identified the airlines as West Jet,{{more}} Jet Blue, Air Canada, Delta, American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, and Air Berlin.

“It’s [airport] very close to opening. And I know one of the big questions is simply which airlines will be flying into St Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Beache.

“We are not going to know exactly which airlines are flying into St Vincent and the Grenadines until the airport is completed, and until a CEO has been put in position at Argyle International… The airlines will have to speak to whoever the CEO is, because all sorts of things are coming into these discussions – in terms of landing fees, turn rate, depending on how many times they’re coming per week… a lot of things.”

He added: “Contrary to what some people believe, that you just go out and ask and they will come, that is not the situation. There are a lot of things that have to be discussed… nobody owes St Vincent and the Grenadines anything. If the airlines are not making money, they are not going to fly – it’s as simple as that.”

The SVGTA CEO said that he is presently trying to secure meetings with regional airlines to discuss them flying to SVG as well.

Beache said that while we all agree that SVG is a beautiful destination, so does every other destination that relies on tourism.

“I put that out there to stress that we need to be better than good – we need to be excellent!”

Once a chief executive officer has been appointed to the AIA, representatives from the various interested airlines will visit SVG for further discussions and negotiations.

Additionally, Beache revealed that Tobago has expressed an interest in the possibility of a tag flight with St Vincent travelling from the United Kingdom.

“We are very much interested in that, if it will make it better for us, and if we can work with the Tobago tourism board to make this happen…”

The SVGTA CEO further explained that he is hoping for two or three flights weekly coming out of Toronto, New York, Miami and London.

“That will give visitors a better option in terms of their length of stay here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.” (JSV)

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