In thanking interCaribbean for choosing the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) as a hub, acting Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Kirk Humphrey stressed connecting Caribbean people is important.
Minister Humphrey in welcoming the inaugural flight today, expressed on behalf of the Government of Barbados how pleased the country was to be partnering with the airline especially in these times of air travel.
“This partnership will be about bringing people closer together, because we [Barbados] are a strong believer in regionalism, strong believers in the idea that we are stronger together and by working with you [interCaribbean], you’ll be able to make that relationship even more possible, even more of a reality”, Minister Humphrey said.
He added the partnership with the airline will assist Barbados in realizing one of its aspirations of becoming “the southern hub not only in the Caribbean but for the world, because we believe we can connect the Caribbean through Barbados because of how we are so uniquely positioned.”
With Barbados having a 4.1 per cent increase in Caribbean arrivals between 2018 and 2019, it is hoped that the Caribbean becomes more of a “natural market” for inter-regional tourism, especially now and post-COVID-19.
Also present at the inaugural flight from Grenada to Barbados was interCaribbean Eastern Caribbean Operations Director, Gilles Busstuli, who stated he was “very excited” to partner with Barbados to provide air service to Grenada, St. Lucia and Dominica.
Mr. Busstuli stated the airline is known for good standards and “Today marks an important day for the airline…and in today’s world of confinement and dispensing, we stand here today to ensure that these new concepts do not bring isolation to the Caribbean island nations.”
In addition, Mr. Busstuli noted the airline is committed to providing a widely connected network of air travel that is safe and reliable, with competitive pricing and friendly service.
Head of Global Markets, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Petra Roach described the landing of the inaugural flight as a “really auspicious occasion”, given that the aviation industry around the world is estimated to lose over $250 billion for 2020.
And while airlines have consolidated airlift and are parking planes, it is a positive indicator for Barbados’ tourism to welcome interCaribbean during these challenging times for the airline industry.