Discussions have been ongoing with airlines such as Jet Blue, Southwest, British Airways and Air France.
This was disclosed by the head of the SVG Tourism Authority, Glen Beache, on Monday 23 August, while speaking on the OMG morning show on Boom Fm.
“The negotiations with all these airlines have been going on for years. It’s not like flagging down a van. A lot of work goes into it. We keep our options open in terms of moving forward”.
Beache said the discussions were very hard at first because St Vincent never had a record of international flights.
“We could push the numbers of visitor arrivals and so on, but we never had any record of international flights. So it was a challenge because it is a risk for the airline.
Room stock has been an issue also because of the way airlines operate today. And the Europeans started it like Virgin, and others have followed. Virgin does not fly into a destination unless the vacation arm tells them to. So it’s not only about the flight, it’s about the packages.
Virgin holidays play a big part; we do marketing with them also. Air Canada vacations same thing, so all of that plays a massive role in terms of what we do”, Beache said.
The CEO of the Tourism Authority stated that Virgin holidays cannot wait for Beaches SVG to be open and likewise The Marriott.
“So now that we have the record like American Airlines, they started with one flight then move to three flights per week, Air Canada all year round etc. It’s a bit easier because you can see the traffic, and we can use those numbers”.
Beache said that people must remember that SVG is going up against all these other airports.
“Everybody wants flights coming in. However, there are only so many planes to go around”, the CEO stated.
Beache, back in January 2017, said the Tourism Authority was working on getting flights out of Europe with airlines such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Thomas Cook and Air France.