Categorized | Business, National News

Tourism Officials On A Mission To Boost Airlift

Despite Baha Mar’s recent announcement to delay its 2014 opening, Ministry of Tourism officials are still aggressively working towards bringing in new airlift for the country.

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe told the Bahama Journal recently that the aim is to continue with new markets to assist with turning the economy around.

“Over the next several months we are preparing to see new airlift come on board in November and December,” he said.

“You are going to see a series of things not only for New Providence but the Family Islands as well. We feel that we are going to have the peak capacity to do what we need to do and airlift is crucial to that. You have to appreciate in the world particularly in the United States, that a four per cent increase in the economy was experienced in the last quarter which means that we could be on a trend that will continue to grow the job market.”

He said that means more than 200,000 jobs are being added on a monthly basis in the country’s main market – the United States.

“With the uptick in economic trends, you will see more disposable income which bodes well for the tourism industry,” the tourism minister said.

“This means people will travel more. We are also working aggressively on our marketing strategy. Marketing, inventory and airlift all go together and we feel the inventory levels are going up, more airlift is coming on stream as we expect to have an announcement very soon and our marketing team is doing well.”

Southwest Airlines recently added a direct flight from Baltimore to New Providence.

Sources within the ministry claim that more flights will be added from Europe as well as Asia.

Earlier this year ministry officials held meeting with several airlines including US Airways, Jet Blue, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

In addition, US Airways continues to provide year-round or seasonal non-stop air service from its Charlotte hub, Philadelphia, and Cleveland to Nassau/Paradise Island.

The tourism minister confirmed that a meeting was also held with Copa Airlines, which provides year-round nonstop scheduled air service to Nassau/Paradise Island from Panama, with connecting flights from several Latin American markets such as Brazil, Colombia and Argentina.

British Airways officials have also had talks with local ministry officials.

Exploratory meetings were also held with several airlines with the potential to bring increased seat capacity to The Bahamas from Latin America.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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