The Venezuela airline, Conviasa made its inaugural, direct flight from Cuba to St Vincent and the Grenadines last Friday, March 31 carrying 50 passengers.
The flight which touched down at the Argyle International Airport (AIA) around 4:00 p.m originated in Venezuela, made a stop over in Cuba for about 90 minutes before heading to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
“I’m very pleased that the Cuban Government has given approval to this flight, and so too the Venezuelan Government, and day by day, we are enlarging the opportunities here at Argyle International. This is just the start,” Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsavles said at a welcome ceremony held at the VIP Lounge of the AIA.
He pointed to the range of opportunities that can now be accessed as a result of this new air service noting that “…the parents who have children in Cuba going to university, persons who have families in Cuba, persons who have gone to Cuba or to Venezuela for medical attention or whatever activity, you’re able to go”.
Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Francisco M. Perez Santana noted that the inauguration of the flight marked another important milestone, and is part of an air service agreement which Venezuela signed in 2022 with this country.
He referred to people using the freedom to fly to Cuba and to Venezuela as a “dream of our liberators, Simon Bolivar, and also, of our President [Hugo] Chavez- the unity of Latin America and the Caribbean”.
With this flight, “…be sure that we are given one step to that unity because this is the window of our Caribbean”, the Ambassador added.
And, the Ambassador of Cuba to St Vincent and the Grenadines, Jose Manuel Leyva Ventura said the inauguration of the flight “…is the result of the cooperation and solidarity between St Vincent and the Grenadines, Cuba and Venezuela.”
He reminded the gathering that it was this cooperation between these three countries that saw the successful construction of the Argyle International Airport.
And this country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Keisal Peters said “This flight between Cuba and St. Vincent and the Grenadines is one of many examples that the foreign policy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is alive and well”.
She added, “this inaugural flight of Conviasa between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and our friends in Cuba, provides an opportunity for connectivity and enhanced engagement in various sectors including education, health, and trade during a period when regional travel has been particularly challenging”.
Having singed the Air Services Agreement in March, 2022, Peters said “… the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela wasted no time in commencing flights between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela and that is truly commendable”.
Minister of Tourism, Carlos James and Minister of Sports, Frederick Stephenson, also spoke at the welcome ceremony.
The once weekly Conviasa service will operate on Friday’s departing Venezuela in the morning, with a stop over in Cuba and then travelling to SVG, then heading back on the same route.
On its return journey last week Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Montgomery Daniel who was heading to Cuba for medical attention, was among the passengers on board the flight.