By Mellica McPherson
The Territory is making strides to secure reliable airlift for the upcoming tourist season. In an interview with The Island Sun newspaper this week Director of the BVI Tourist Board, Mrs. Sharon Flax-Mars announced that the Board is working to ensure that there is hassle free lifts into the Territory.
She updated on the agreement that was previously announced with VI Airlink, and announced that the service is expected to commence on 31 October. Mrs. Flax-Mars stated that Government signed an agreement with the BVI-based company and that the airline is expected to embark on a planned trip with the BVI Tourist Board to the United Kingdom (UK).
“They are going with us to the UK in early October where we will have a four city road show in the UK, during which we will be talking to our tour operators and letting them know that we do have an alternative, that we do have additional lift that is a direct flight, which is different from what we have with LIAT. We are now able to say that there is a direct flight from Antigua to the BVI,” Mrs. Flax-Mars stated.
It was announced that the VI Airlink flights will be twice per week: “We are starting with just two days, we looked at what our volume is so our high traffic days would be Fridays and Saturdays to correspond with British Airways and Virgin flights,” the Tourist Board Director explained.
It was noted that the Tourist Board has also been in contact with some of the other airlines that have recently announced interest in the region, but it was announced that there has not been any agreement with any.
She said: “We are in discussion with quite a few of the carriers in terms of providing additional lift to the destination, and are looking at their schedules and looking at their equipment as well. We want to ensure that while it is that a carrier might indicate interest in the destination, we ensure that they have the equipment to provide the service.”
As arrangements are made to secure better airlift, the Director said that LIAT has not been cast aside and that the Territory is still interested in the service. She said: “We are trying to arrange a meeting with LIAT, they have given us a tentative date which is actually at the end of October.”