Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (right), is pictured during discussions with British Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, William ‘Willie’ Walsh,at Government Headquarters today.??

The relationship between Barbados and British Airways (BA) remains strong.

This point was underscored today during a courtesy call by BA’s Chief Executive Officer, William ???Willie’ Walsh on Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, at Government Headquarters.

Mr. Walsh pointed out that Barbados was a natural hub for the Caribbean, with which his airline had a very good relationship and one he hoped to see develop even further. He described his meetings in Barbados for the Caribbean Tourism Organisation Conference, as being very fruitful, and expressed optimism about the future and serving Barbados’ most important and largest market.

Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (centre), in discussion with British Airways’ (BA) Chief Executive Officer, William ‘Willie’ Walsh,(2nd from left)??Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy (right), and??BA’s Vice President, Customer Services, Latin America and the Caribbean, Ian Blackman, at Government Headquarters today.

Mr. Walsh said the joint business venture with American Airlines (AA) and Iberia Airlines represented the continued strength of his company, as it sought to offer more destinations to its customers, which previously would not have been available in Latin America and the Caribbean. He stressed that the airlines would retain their own identities and the combined service with AA would start in early 2011.

In welcoming the CEO to Barbados, the acting Prime Minister said the relationship with British Airways, which originated in the 1950s, had always been very good and that government valued these ties very highly. He added that the commitment was "profound and almost irrevocable" and had worked well over the years.

Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy and BA’s Vice President of Customer Services for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ian Blackman, were also in attendance.

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