|Celebrating 3 new flights|
|Thursday, 24 February 2011 10:30|
It was an historic week for the Turks and Caicos Islands when two new airlines began service to the Providenciales International Airport starting Feb. 17.
“We are very fortunate to be in this position,” said TCI Airport Authority CEO John Smith, noting that it is not often that a destination can welcome two inaugural flights in one year, much less in one week.
“For many residents and visitors this represents a major opportunity to travel to and from our shores,” said His Excellency the Gov. Gordon Wetherell.
The service of these three flights from some of the country’s most important source markets offers the potential to increase tourism by almost 30 percent.
On Thursday, Feb. 17, JetBlue landed for the first time in the TCI, welcomed by a water canon salute from TCI’s own Royal Fire Department. The A320 was sold out, delivering 150 happy passengers from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to the islands.
The flight was greeted by local dignitaries, including the governor and government CEO Mark Capes, who assisted in cutting the ribbon welcoming the low fare airline to the TCI.
JetBlue will offer this flight daily, as well as a weekly direct flight from Boston’s Logan International Airport on Saturdays. JetBlue’s Chief Commercial Officer Robin Hayes, who travelled on the inaugural flight, said these new flights are only the beginning of what he expects to be a fruitful relationship.
“We are going to be here for a long time,” Hayes said. The airline chooses destinations where it sees growth potential, and he said he is committed to adding seats when necessary, while keeping prices low.
If forward sales are any indication, growth is on the horizon. Hayes said flights into the summer are already filling up, and he gave TCI residents hope when he hinted that the next destination the popular airline is eyeing for service to the TCI is Fort Lauderdale.
On Friday afternoon, Providenciales International Airport welcomed a second inaugural flight when Continental Airline landed for the first time in the TCI with direct service from Newark.
The 737-800 received an honourable welcome with a water cannon salute and ribbon cutting with the governor. The flight was filled to capacity carrying 160 passengers.
“I cannot over-emphasise the importance of Continental’s service to the TCI,” said Director of Tourism Ralph Higgs. “We are immensely proud you have chosen to service the TCI.”
Regional Director for the Caribbean Rigoberto Alvarenga said the airline is also pleased to offer the new service which has been so successful already that they have added more flights. Continental, the worlds largest airline, will begin daily service March 1 from Newark direct to Providenciales.
Alvarenga says forward sales show nearly full bookings through to the end of June. He said if the numbers continue, the daily service will continue through the summer months, offering new growth potential for the typically slower summer season.
Three members of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) hosted a cocktail reception to celebrate Continental’s inaugural flight to the TCI, charming Continental executives and other special guests.
The Regent Palms provided the venue along with service for the event with canapés and cocktails for the evening sponsored by Grace Bay Club and HAB Group, respectively.
“We are so excited to be part of this historic occasion,” said Karen Whitt, president of the TCHTA and general manager of the Regent Palms. “The growth of airlift is vital to our destination, and this week the Turks and Caicos Islands welcomed not one but two of the world’s largest airlines to Providenciales.
“We are extremely honoured that Continental Airlines chose us to be their 26th Caribbean destination. The demand for increased airlift is definitely there, so we as an Association need to continuously promote the destination.”
Latest Local News
Tourist Board expands adding two new staff members
The Turks and Caicos Tourist Board announced this week it welcomed two new staff members to further More...
Cruise terminal to open April 8
Beginning Monday, April 8, thousands of cruise ship passengers will again begin to enjoy the More...
2013 TCI Elecrotal List Available
TCI 2013 Electors’ Register is Ready! Supervisor of Elections Mr. Dudley Lewis has announced More...
Misick Declared By-Election Winner
Supervisor of Elections Dudley Lewis has advised that the Progressive National Party's (PNP) Amanda More...
New Board leads TCHTA
On Wednesday, March 13, Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) bid farewell to its More...