From August 01, 2020, Grenada is expected to be serviced by the Turks and Caicos-based InterCaribbean Airways, which promises affordable fares to other islands within the region.
Government had earlier announced that following successful discussions, the airline was issued an operating permit by the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation.
Founder and Chairman of InterCaribbean Airways, Lyndon Gardiner, on a recent local radio programme shared intention to operate two daily flights between Grenada and Barbados, noting that bookings can be made via the company’s website and travel agencies.
He also shared that in September, there’s intention to commence an early morning flight out of Grenada mainly to Barbados, targeting those wishing to travel to obtain US visas. However, he said this service will come on stream by demand.
InterCaribbean Airways, which is a private airline that started in 1991, offers scheduled domestic and regional services from its hub at Providenciales, Turks & Caicos and Tortola, British Virgin Islands, to multiple destinations in Antigua, The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia and St Maarten.
Noting that for the last 7 years, his airline has dominated the northern skies, Gardiner stated he is excited to extend his company’s service to other islands within the Eastern Caribbean such as Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.
He said at the moment the company is assessing all routes and how the market will respond to decide on the offering of more destinations.
InterCaribbean Airways expansion to the region comes at a time when LIAT, which has served the region for more than 40 years, is into liquidation and is currently not servicing the islands. A new entity is already in the works to replace LIAT to be registered as “LIAT 2020 Ltd.”
LIAT, which has experienced financial and other challenges for years, was hard-hit by COVID-19, which forced countries in the region to close their borders.
During a recent interview, Prime Minister, Dr Rt Hon Keith Mitchell, said the regional tourism and civil aviation sectors are deep in discussion with Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to take up some of the slack. “They have indicated they have additional aircrafts now, so expect to see some serious movement with Caribbean Airlines.”
From July 24, 2020 Caribbean Airlines commenced flights between Grenada and Barbados, with connections to Saint Lucia and Dominica. Some flights will also go via Saint Vincent into Barbados.
Meanwhile, SVG Air plans to introduce service using a twin otter, between Grenada, Saint Vincent and Barbados, to provide connections to the larger islands.
“So, there is a combination of opportunities that will be available, to ensure that we not just replace what LIAT was bringing, if it does not return, but to have expanded opportunities,” Prime Minister Mitchell said.
In addition to increased air transport opportunities, Dr Mitchell said Grenada will soon join other
regional countries that have reduced taxes on airline tickets, to encourage greater intra-regional travel.