Grenada’s Tourism & Civil Aviation Minister, Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen has served notice to airlines that they will not be given access to the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) until government gives the clearance.
The senior government minister made the announcement Friday at the first sitting of the Grenada Parliament for the first time in nearly five months.
Dr. Modeste-Curwen addressed the issue against the backdrop of a report carried by the NEW TODAY newspaper that several airlines had been advertising scheduled flights to MBIA starting in May.
She said the airlines are independent of government but no permission has been given by government for any of them to resume operations at the airport at Point Salines.
She told Parliament that the safety of the local population comes before everything and that the border of Grenada will remain closed for the time being.
Dr. Modeste-Curwen stressed that the government welcomes the partnership with the airlines using the airport but “the health of our people come first”.
She said a few airlines were given permissions to mainly fly in to take out foreigners who were stranded on the island due to the closure of MBIA.
A check on the websites of several airlines turned up the following scheduled flights to MBIA beginning May 7:
- American Airlines has a flight listed from May 7 originating from JFK International in New York, into Miami International Airport and then to Grenada at a cost of US$343.00 return.
- JetBlue is offering a direct flight from May 7 out of JFK direct to Grenada for $338.80 return.
- Virgin Atlantic has scheduled a flight from May 11 out of Gatwick in the UK passing through St Lucia then into MBIA at a cost of US$560.17.
- BA is offering a flight from June 24 at a cost of US$672.17 into St. George’s with one stop in St. Lucia.Caribbean Airlines is also advertising a one way flight for US$149.01 from JFK in New York, passing through Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and then to MBIA.