Categorized | National News

SUNWING PULLING OUT- -Bad news for Grand Bahama’s economy

The Sunwing Travel Group announced bad news for Grand Bahama yesterday  as it will be pulling  out  of The Bahamas as of 2019.

In a statement  the Canadian travel group said, “although Sunwing Airlines has over delivered on its promise each year by exceeding the number of customers brought to the island, we are sad to report that we have unfortunately reached an impasse with the government which does not make it viable to continue with our flight operations to Grand Bahama.

“Therefore, we will no longer be operating to the island in 2019. As a result, we understand many of our hotel partners will be closing for some or all of the summer months and reducing staff dramatically.”

The statement  added  that the group has invested the last six years and tens of millions  of dollars of its own money in the revitalization of Grand Bahama island. 

The company  noted  that it is unfortunate for the island and the people of Grand Bahama that after all this hard work,  tourism is now going to go backwards to its lowest levels in decades. 

Pineridge Member of Parliament  Frederick McAlpine who refused to comment on the matter when contacted.

Tourism  Minister  Dionisio  D’Aguilar is off the island and unavailable for comment, and calls made to the Director General’s office were not returned up to press time. 

For  the  past  four years, Sunwing has been operating flying programs from key Canadian and American cities, representing the largest increase in passengers in the history of Grand Bahama Island.  

The  USA  summer program was a huge success, operating with a 90 per cent load factor and allowing many hotels to remain open and keeping people employed on a year round basis. 

The  previous  operator of this program ran flights that were more than half empty, costing Bahamian tax payers millions of dollars annually while failing to deliver local tourism revenue.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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