Despite the challenges presented by the lack of capacity on the Grenada/ Barbados route, Barbados continues to be our second highest producing Caribbean market.
That’s according to Tourism Minister, Lennox Andrews, who pointed to statistics while addressing the launch of the inaugural InterCaribbean Airways’ ATR-42 service on the Grenada to Barbados Route, hosted by the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) at the Maurice Bishop International Airport last Thursday.
According to the Tourism Minister, the Caribbean was the second largest market for the island before the COVID-19 pandemic with 27,718 visitors recorded in 2019.
InterCaribbean Airways operates out of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and has been penetrating the market in the Eastern Caribbean as a dominant force in inter-regional travel in recent years.
The airline provides connections to 14 countries and 22 destinations in Barbados, the OECS and Guyana.
Chairman and Founder of the airline Lyndon Gardiner expressed confidence that this new partnership will “yield positive results for business, the economy of the islands and regional integration as a whole.”
Gardiner said the direct service offered “will improve air travel, connectivity, and develop inter-regional tourism – an area that is vastly untapped.”
He stated that “Grenada with its unique location can also become a point-to-point connection option between the region, Guyana and the rest of the southern Caribbean.”
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTA, Petra Roach pointed out that while arrivals to the island from the Caribbean “has dropped to fourth place…there is still a lot of potential there for that to grow…”
She is optimistic that “with this strategic partnership we can ensure that we get back to where we were in the pre-pandemic periods.”
InterCaribbean Airways’ flight operations on the Grenada to Barbados Route will feature a total frequency of 11 services each week.
The GTA CEO said under the arrangement, the airlines 48- seater ATR 42 will provide “daily double service (to the island) four days of the week and then we have three days of operation where it’s just once per day.”
Roach also spoke of plans to “increase the number of services between Trinidad and Grenada to 10 times per week…and the capacity between Barbados and Grenada to three times per week.”
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has been a strong advocate for a better air transport system within the regional space in the wake of the eventual collapse of the cash-strapped LIAT amidst the pandemic.
In celebration of the inaugural InterCaribbean Airways’ ATR-42 service on the Grenada to Barbados Route, the Grenadian Leader led a delegation comprising governmental officials as well as members of the business and tourism community to Barbados aboard the new service as part of a day of promotional activities.