The resumption of Delta???s flight to the region is proof that the creation of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. made sense, and downplays the criticisms against its formation.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, gave this vote of confidence in the organisation, on the occasion of the inaugural flight of Delta from New York and Atlanta.
Speaking to reporters and industry players at a reception in the Grace Adams Suite recently, Mr. Sealy said the inaugural flight was the first since the BTMI was established, and was a litmus test to the character of the newly-formed organisation.
???If I can speak to Atlanta for the moment, this is the ultimate litmus test as to whether or not we made the right decision. I am sure we did but this [Delta flight] provides an opportunity to truly test if the restructuring of the institutions made sense. BTMI now has the task of making sure that the Atlanta and New York flights not only continue, but indeed that their frequency increases,??? he added.
Mr. Sealy said the reintroduction of the Delta service would ???redound to the benefit of our tourism service by helping to get the US numbers up???. ???Delta is a very strong airline and we are very happy to work with them coming out of the JFK gateway,??? he emphasised.
The Tourism Minister described the Atlanta service as ???particularly exciting??? given the fact that the Atlanta???s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was the busiest airport in the world and was a ???tremendous gateway to open up parts of the US that we do not get a lot of business from???.
Meanwhile, United States Ambassador, Larry Palmer, said he was particularly pleased with the reintroduction of the service, and said it represented ???the continuing strong ties between Barbados and the United States and the confidence in American companies that Barbados is an attractive place to do business???.
Delta???s Commercial Sales Manager, Richard Pile, said the service allowed travellers to connect to destinations across the globe from New York and Atlanta, and thanked Barbados on behalf of the 80,000 employees across Delta???s network.??The 737 aircraft boasts 160 seats and will operate a twice weekly service to Barbados.