NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS – Cape Air recommenced operations at Nevis’ Vance W. Amory International Airport (VAIA) on February 15, 2023 with an inaugural flight from St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands.
Deputy Premier of Nevis Hon. Eric Evelyn, along Mr. Devon Liburd, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nevis Tourism Authority (NTA) were on hand at the VAIA to welcome the passengers from Cape Air flight 9K7451.
The six passengers arriving on the Cessna 402 9-seater aircraft were also greeted on the tarmac with a performance by a masquerade troupe, and presented with gift bags from Cape Air and the NTA.
During a brief ceremony to mark the occasion, Hon. Evelyn delivered remarks on behalf of Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA).
“Tourism is extremely important to the island of Nevis and we are so excited that Cape Air is back. We have been listening to the people of Nevis, we have been listening to the residents of the [US] Virgin Islands who are Nevisian, and we have been hearing all along that we need some more life at the Vance Amory International Airport, and so we would have put the NTA to work to negotiate for us to ensure that we have more airlift into the Vance Amory International Airport.
“So on behalf of the Premier and the Nevis Island Administration we want to welcome Cape Air back to the beautiful island of Nevis. We trust that your tenure will be long and we hope that in the future you can add more destinations to this route,” he said.
Mr. Liburd said the launch of the Cape Air service is an exciting time for Nevis as it will increase access to the island not only from the USVI, but also as a connection point from the US.
“St. Thomas is not only closer to Nevis [than Puerto Rico], but it provides a seamless connection to the US…it also offers the destination a bloc of airline arrivals into St. Thomas which feeds into the flight compliment into Nevis.
“The US Virgin Islands is also an important link to Nevis as scores of Nevisians reside there and are always looking for ways of getting home. So in my opinion it’s a win, win, and win for Nevis. Tourism on Nevis will benefit, Cape Air as an airline will benefit, the residents of Nevis will benefit and of course we also include the residents of St. Kitts and the US Virgin Islands who will also benefit.”
He thanked other stakeholders including the Nevis government, Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority (NASPA), Ministry of Tourism, and Ministry of Finance for their critical roles in making the airline’s return a reality.
In her remarks, Ms. Katya Ruiz, Regional Marketing Director for Cape Air, said the company was happy to be operating in Nevis once again, highlighting that Cape Air will be offering daily flights between St. Thomas and Nevis, with two flights on Sundays.
“On behalf of Linda Markham, our CEO, I thank you for embracing us, embracing our service and together we will work to make Nevis a great destination. We are so excited to be back. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time since we had to pause our service to once again be partnering with this amazing destination, and we are sure this will be a great boost to Nevis tourism,” she said.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were members of the NIA Cabinet; Mr. Oral Brandy, General Manager of NASPA, who delivered the Vote of Thanks; officials and staff from the Ministry of Tourism, representatives from Cape Air including Captain Rafael Nunez, who piloted the inaugural flight; hoteliers and other invited guests.