WestJet Adds 7000 Seats For Antigua Tourism

News about this airline - please include a link to the source as well as the article text itself.
User avatar
bimjim
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 31238
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006

WestJet Adds 7000 Seats For Antigua Tourism

Unread post by bimjim » Wed Sep 12, 2012

http://www.caribarena.com/antigua/touri ... urism.html

WestJet Adds 7000 Seats For Antigua Tourism
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 02:30

Antigua St. John’s

Antigua & Barbuda has added 7,000 more seats for the upcoming winter season, as the Tourism Authority through partnership with the Hotel Association and others finalises talks with the renowned Canadian airline WestJet.

Holding the rank of second largest airline in Canada and 10th in the United States, WestJet is poised to begin twice weekly flights to Antigua from Toronto, Canada on October 28.

The airline entered the Caribbean some three years ago and services fewer than half a dozen territories including Barbados, St. Maarten and Jamaica.

The 7,000 seats to Antigua will come through 139 seats per flight on Wednesdays and Sundays for the entire winter season.

“The addition of this service comes after months of negotiations and shared interests on the parts of the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority and WestJet’s Canadian Base,” said a statement from the Tourism Authority.

CEO of the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin James said Antigua should expect “interesting things” to happen through the new partnership.

“We hope to see the numbers grow,” said President of the Antigua Hotels & Tourist Association as he pointed out that hoteliers across the country have recorded steadily rising numbers of stay-over visitors from Canada.

“The increase of airlift out of Canada has always been seen as vital to sustained growth in the Canadian Market.

Through choices of Canadian flagged carriers and connections through the United States, travel between any Canadian city and Antigua has just gotten a lot easier and more affordable,” James said.

‪When asked for details on the agreement between the Antigua Government and their new WestJet partners, the Tourism Authority CEO said he could not divulge such details since the contracts between each air carrier servicing Antigua may differ and are governed by strict confidentiality guidelines.‬

The partnership, which begins as a winter season arrangement, is expected to evolve into an all-year-round service depending on demand.

An Antiguan captain who began his career as a pilot with LIAT several years ago will pilot the inaugural WestJet flight, which has already been completely sold out.

Tourism Minister John Maginley, who was absent from Tuesday’s announcement, said in a statement, “The Canadian tourist market has proven to be one of the more reliable with regards to performance over the last few years, resisting the recession with double digit growth of arrivals year after year.”

He added that the country’s move to partner with the airline comes through “market research” that suggests that the Canadian tourist market has not reached its fullest potential, and that additional airlift from Canada is “the only means of ensuring that the destination (is) poised to take full advantage of the performance of that market.”

Erica Henry-Jackman – Director of the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Canada Office, said a change in market strategy has already been implemented on the ground in Canada and amplified focus on that market is also well underway.

Some of this focus will be reflected in promotions and celebrations of Antiguan and Barbudan culture and general product in the months leading up to opening of the winter season. The Antigua & Barbuda Independence Celebrations in Canada are expected to be primary in the marketing strategy.

Patrick Ryan, Chairman of the Board of the Antigua & Barbuda Airport Authority was also present at Tuesday’s announcement - and he too welcomed the addition.

He said the addition complements well the ongoing initiative to expand the VC Bird International Airport as part of the general vision to enhance the overall efficiency of the airport.

The WestJet addition to Antigua did not come with the establishment of a local office, and all bookings must therefore be made either online or through a travel agent.

The WestJet seasonal service will commence on October 28 with Flight 2555 which will depart Toronto at 9:30 am and arrive in Antigua at 2:12 pm. The return WestJet Flight 2556 will depart Antigua at 3:05 pm and arrive in Toronto at 8:27 pm every Sunday and Wednesday.

Post Reply

Return to “WestJet - Canada”