Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 12, 2023 (ZIZ Newsroom): String Band musicians and masquerade performers helped set the scene on Sunday as the country welcomed the inaugural flight of InterCaribbean Airways to the federation.
Government Officials from various sectors lined up on the tarmac of the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport to welcome the captain and passengers of the first flight.
Inside Kayan Jet Lounge a welcome ceremony was held where CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority Ellison Thompson described it as a very happy day in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Today we make it much easier for our citizens to get around the Caribbean. The hassle of going to Miami and flying back over to St. Kitts to get where you want to go. Those days are now history. We have one-stop service via Barbados to St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent, and Georgetown, Guyana. So we realize how important airlift is to the federation and to tourism and to regional travel, and we are just extremely happy that this day has finally come,” he said.
Chairman of InterCaribbean Airways Lyndon Gardiner commended the government on its push for reliable, efficient intra-regional travel and said this is only the beginning as there are plans to expand the number of countries on their destination list.
“With the start of this new service, St. Kits will ensure more point-to-point flights rather than shared flights, effectively doubling the capacity to the islands. We intend to replicate simpler services to other islands in the subregion in the coming weeks and months,” he said.
“What does this mean for travel between the islands?” he continued. “It means more options for direct travel. It means that the next summer of fun, music festival, or carnival is not so out of reach anymore. More West Indians can travel with ease and gain great access to enjoy together what our Caribbean has to offer.”
Minister of Tourism the Hon. Marsha Henderson said the addition of Intercaribbean Airways to the country’s airlift opens up easier access to nearby nations which eases access to internationally renowned events within the federation.
She said “IntraCaribbean’s integration into our airlift network grants the region easy accessibility to immerse and indulge in the hidden gems of St. Kitts and Nevis. Notably, our events such as the Caribbean Premier League, the St. Kitts Music Festival, Nevis Culturama, and our St. Kitts and Nevis national cannibal have gained momentum.”
Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew said he was pleased with the launch of InterCaribbean’s service to St. Kitts and noted that he has always been a champion of intra-regional travel.
“When I went to the Bahamas recently and I had the opportunity to speak as the Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis to CARICOM the heads of government meeting, part of my speech, may a third of the speech dealt with intra-regional travel. And I said in that speech, you need to do like St. Kitts and Nevis and get the issue resolved,” he said.
He continued “And today I feel good that my words were not mere words in the wind. But through hard work by the minister, the CEO, and our country and our cabinet, we see the reality coming forth.”
InterCaribbean Airways will service St. Kitts from Barbados three times a week on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday with one-stop connectivity via Barbados to Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Dominica, and Guyana.
Photo courtesy of St. Kitts Tourism Authority.