Government of Antigua & Barbuda
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua (GIS) — Travellers to Antigua and Barbuda will have easier access by air following a series of successful meetings held with executives of American Airlines in Miami, Florida and Delta Airlines in Atlanta, Georgia and an Antigua and Barbuda delegation led by the Honourable Asot Michael, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy.
The meeting with American Airlines was convened in their Miami offices with Director of Marketing, Gary Alfson. The Honourable Molwyn Joseph, Minister of Health and the Environment who is a former Tourism Minister of Antigua and Barbuda accompanied Minister Michael to the meeting. Both Ministers used the opportunity to share the government’s vision for the tourism industry. Other members of the delegation included Mr. Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Mr. Rohan Hector, Chairman of St. Johns Development Corporation and Mr. Neil Forester of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotel and Tourist Association.
The delegation next met with Mrs. Christine Kennedy, General Manager and Global Partnership Development Executive at Delta Airlines in their Atlanta office, who welcomed the opportunity to discuss in detail areas of collaboration that will grow the country’s airlift with Delta Airlines.
Minister Michael used the opportunity to share information with both parties on the improvement visitors to Antigua and Barbuda can expect upon arrival with the new airport terminal that is expected to open in March 2015. He also spoke of new property developments at South Point Falmouth that was newly opened and the soon to be constructed Sandals Beaches Resort and the Yida International Investment Resort project that are in the advanced planning stages. The airline executives were pleased to hear of Antigua and Barbuda’s relaxation of visa requirements for visitors from China and Latin American countries such as Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Chile as well as the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), which will propel demand for new investments in Antigua and Barbuda.
As a result of the negotiations with American Airlines, the carrier will continue its four weekly flights from JFK International Airport, New York to Antigua for the start of this year’s winter season in November. In September and October, American Airlines will introduce two flights from JFK, with a late 5:00 p.m. departure on Friday and Sundays, which will overnight in Antigua and depart the next day. This will allow connections over JFK from the all-important European markets. Negotiations will continue for a second daily departure on Saturdays and Sundays from the all-important, Miami, Florida gateway to Antigua.
At the meetings with Delta Airlines, a second flight to Antigua out of the Atlanta, Georgia gateway was confirmed. This will allow air access for travellers from Atlanta as well as from the feeder markets of Minneapolis, Detroit, St. Louis and Kansas City.
During the discussions Minister Michael gave his commitment to the airline partners to consider a comprehensive marketing programme to include Sales, Public Relations, Advertising and Promotions to build awareness of Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism product in primary markets in the Northeast and the Southern corridor of the USA.