International US-based airline to fly to Argyle International Airport
(WEFM) — An International airline out of the United States of America is scheduled to operate regular flights to St. Vincent and the Grenadines when the Argyle International Airport becomes operational.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made the disclosure while speaking, Friday, on the Shakeup programme aired on WEFM.
Dr. Gonsalves did not name the airline, but noted that arrangements are being finalized and an announcement is likely to be made in the month of June.
A well placed International Source, close to WEFM, however, said that the Airline is likely to be Jet Blue.
Gonsalves, however, gave no hint as to the name of the airline.
“There’s an International carrier which we have been in discussion with out of the United States. They will make the announcement towards the end of June” – Gonsalves said.
“The agreement has been negotiated. Final touches are being put to it. It will come to my desk anytime in the next week or so for signature” – he added.
The Prime Minister said two companies have been set up for to oversee the operations of the Argyle International Airport.
He noted that one of the companies, the Argyle International Airport Inc., which is the management company, has a Board of Directors comprised of individuals from both the public and private sectors. It held its inaugural meeting, Thursday.
A LONG PERIOD OF NEGOTIATIONS WITH AIRLINES
In January of this year, Chief Executive Officer of the SVG Tourism Authority, Glen Beache said they are in discussion with West Jet, Jet Blue and other airlines.
Mr. Beache noted however that they will not know exactly which airlines will be flying to this country until the Argyle International Airport is completed and a Chief Executive Officer is appointed.
Prime Minister Gonsalves said on Friday, May 27th, 2016 on WEFM that “Glen Beache and the new CEO from the management company (for Argyle International Airport) and member from the Boyd Group which helped us in mobilizing airlines, they did the negotiations with this international carrier, which would be coming out the US with regular flights weekly”.
“There are other airlines out of North America, which we are dealing with and from the United Kingdom and from the Caribbean” – Prime Minister Gonsalves added.
In the earlier years of negotiations, Beache, the then Minister of Tourism said – “A number of major airlines have expressed interest in making St. Vincent and the Grenadines a destination on their flight lists when the international airport is completed”.
““I think out of all the meetings that took place, British Airways was the most promising,” the Minister said, according to an article published on the official website of the IADC.
“I think if we had finished negotiations in terms of certain things being put in place, British Airways was ready to sign on the dotted line. As a matter of fact, they would be here around the end of November to meet with me… they are looking at two flights into St. Vincent and the Grenadines per week, and these flights will be tagged.”
“West Jet out of Canada was very positive, and I must say I was very impressed with our discussions with them.” – Beache added.
West Jet is from Canada, British Airways from the UK and the major US Airline in negotiations, at that time, was Jet Blue.
By: Demion McTair