by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): As St. Kitts and Nevis rebound from the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is expected that local economies will receive a significant boost in the coming year.
Recovery from the economic setbacks caused by the global coronavirus pandemic is dependent upon Tourism, hinted Mr. Ellison Thompson Chief Executive Officer at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. Speaking at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s Media Briefing in The Cayman Islands, Thompson explained that the forecast for the upcoming Tourist season looks bright with the return of airlift to St. Kitts.
The Tourism CEO said the Authority is quite optimistic that all legacy air carriers that served the island before the Pandemic will return to provide services; some of which have begun operations.
“When we look at the schedule we have got the American [Airline] service that’s gonna be daily now and during the season 15th December- 2nd January, we will have double Daily from Miami, but Miami is year-round for us. Charlotte comes in on a seasonal basis. So, it’s a weekly service that operates from the 4th of June to the 13th of August. They [will] come back on the 3rd of December to the 31st of December and will come back again on the 4th of March until June 2023. New York is a weekly service as well, that kicks in from the 5th of November until the 25th of March.”
Another airline Delta will be travelling from Atlanta providing weekly service on Saturdays from September 3 until December 17 and then December 17 until June 2023. According to Thompson, another airline, United Airlines will be providing services to St. Kitts from Newark, beginning December 3 until March 25, 2023.
Meanwhile, Air Canada will resume its operations to St. Kitts on November 05. Air Canada terminated services to St. Kitts during the height of the Pandemic based on a decision made by the Canadian Government to stop all commercial flights to the country. The Tourism CEO said the St. Kitts Tourism Authority will be embarking on a mission to promote the Air Canada flights to St. Kitts.
“In terms of what we are doing to promote the Canada service, we’re working closely with Air Canada and turning some aggressive co-oper campaigns with them, including sales and package incentives and we’re also putting together an unprecedented thirty consumer trade events that’s gonna be happening in the third week in September. I will be in Toronto promoting those events. This is all staged to coincide with the launch of the Air Canada flight in order for us to push that.”
British Airways never stopped its operations to St. Kitts. However, the airline will now have two flights via Antigua that operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Thompson informed that the St. Kitts Tourism Authority is marketing the island’s Tourism product in the United Kingdom (UK)
“In the UK, we’re working very closely with the British Airways to ensure that we’re in their marketing channels. We work closely with B.A holidays to get ourselves in their sales. We’re also going to be working with the High Life Magazine and also the Club Magazine- that is a digital programme. We’ll be giving out some prizes in that. We will also be onboard their Video on the Go global scene.”
As it relates to regional travel, the Tourism CEO named several airlines that are slated to operate between St. Kitts and the neighbouring islands. Amongst them is the Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT).
“In terms of regional service we got Seabourne that comes in from San Juan and we also have out of St. Maarten, Winair and then LIAT also provide regional services as well.
The returned and increased airlift comes a month after the announcement by the newly elected St.Kitts- Nevis Labour Party Government of the lifting of COVID-19 entry protocols.
The return of air service to St. Kitts comes as a backdrop to the announcement by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis; the lifting of the COVID-19 Entry Protocols. Vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers can now enter St. Kitts and Nevis without a negative COVID-19 test and quarantine.