Tourism officials, Transat Canada discuss seats to Antigua

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Tourism officials, Transat Canada discuss seats to Antigua

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Jan 15, 2010

http://www.antiguasunonline.com/news/lo ... igua-.html

Tourism officials, Transat Tours Canada discuss additional seats to Antigua
News Articles - Local
Written by Reporter
Friday, 15 January 2010 03:00

Tourism Minister John Maginley met with representatives of Transat Tours Canada Inc yesterday with the hope of encouraging the charter company to introduce once-weekly flights to Antigua during the summer months of 2010.

Left-right: Tourism Minister John Maginley, Irene Kuhni Product Director Transat Tours, Francois Primeau Product Buyer Transat Tours and Colin James CEO ABTACurrently the company, managed by Alexander Parish, operate two charters per week direct from Toronto and Montreal to Antigua and this has created an alternative means of Air Transportation from Canada and has added an extra 189 seats per charter leg to the destination. Prior to this, Air Canada held a monopoly of the Canadian market and operated once weekly flight into Antigua.

This charter arrangement is due to end in April; however, ministry officials have identified the need to keep the service operational as it holds tremendous benefits for the growth of the local tourism industry.

“It is essential that we seek to increase the frequency of flights from the Canadian market as this will solidify a base from which to operate as well as increase awareness and interest in our destination,” Minister Maginley said.

During the meeting Maginley committed himself and the ministry via the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority to undertake marketing for the summer charter initiative, once Transat Tours comes onboard for this summer campaign.

Colin James, CEO of the authority who was also present at the meeting, remarked that the authority through the Canadian Tourist Office will spearhead marketing of the summer campaign to ensure that the committed seats are filled.

According to Irene Kuhni, product director of Transat Tours, the profitability of such a charter will be foremost in making a decision, but once an attractive package can be negotiated, Transat Tours will definitely come onboard.

The possibility of Transat Tours operating a double drop via a neighbouring island such as St. Maarten into Antigua and a VFR (visitor, friends, and relatives) flight on the return leg to Canada was also discussed.

Arrangements were made for Transat Tour representatives to do site tours of various hotel properties.

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