Tourism officials in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), recently held a meeting with officials from Air Canada, and have put forward proposals to them, which are aimed at mitigating against the difficulties surrounding the international airline’s servicing St Vincent and the Grenadines.
This was stated by Chief Executive Officer of the SVG Tourism Authority, Glen Beache while speaking on NBC Radio earlier this month.
Air Canada has temporarily suspended its flights to this destination, due to several factors, including in-flight time for crew members, and a shortage of pilots.
Beache told radio listeners that the meeting with the officials from Air Canada had taken place about a week and a half previously.
He said they have come up with a solution to the challenge currently being faced, and it is left now to see if Air Canada can make the logistics work for that solution.
“Canada is our fastest growing source market, so we really want to get this back on stream,” he emphasised.
Many Vincentians are concerned about the temporary suspension of Air Canada flights into SVG however, Beache gave the assurance that “we are doing everything we can.”
Beache, who is a former Minister of Tourism added “we are looking at other things, in case this doesn’t come through.”
The Tourism Authority head explained that they are also looking at the possibility of using Sunwing Airlines.
He said if there were more hotel rooms available in St Vincent and the Grenadines, “we would not have had this issue with Air Canada.”
“With more available hotel rooms, we would have been able to sustain four flights weekly, making this destination a viable one for Air Canada”.
In expressing gratitude for having the Argyle International Airport, Beache said, given the current difficulty with regional air transport SVG would have basically been cut off from the rest of the world had it not been for the AIA.
“Things would be a lot different in St Vincent and the Grenadines if that project had not come on stream.”
Beache reiterated that Air Canada’s suspension of flights “is not the fault of the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, or of the Tourism Authority.”
He reminded listeners that Air Canada was the first international airline to fly into St Vincent and the Grenadines and that the airline’s load to this destination never “fell below contract number”.
“We never had to pay Air Canada anything,” he said.
Air Canada recently announced the temporary suspension of services to St Vincent and the Grenadines from May 31, 2023 and will resume later this year.
The CEO of the Tourism Authority also observed that Air Canada has also suspended flights to Grenada and Curacao.