InterCaribbean Making Regional Connectivity Easier

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds (third from left), and Founder and Chairman of interCaribbean Airways, Lyndon Gardiner (third from right), cut the ribbon to commemorate interCaribbean Airways’ inaugural direct flight from Kingston, Jamaica, to Bridgetown, Barbados, at the Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday. (Credit: C. Pitt/BGIS)

interCaribbean Airways’ inaugural direct flight from Kingston, Jamaica, to Bridgetown, Barbados, landed at the Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday.

And Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds, believes this additional route from interCaribbean is a “wonderful spirit of partnership” that is going to make connecting with the region easier.

Mr. Symmonds was present, along with officials from the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and Grantley Adams International Airport, to welcome the flight piloted by Captain Johan Smith, which took 2 hours and 25 minutes from Jamaica to Barbados.

The Minister noted that the timing is great with Barbados set to host a number of major events this year, including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s Global Supply Chain Conference in May and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in June.

He thanked the Founder and Chairman of interCaribbean Airways, Lyndon Gardiner, for the role interCaribbean plays in connecting Barbados to the region.

“For a period of … three hours, we can now have a direct flight connecting Barbados to Jamaica…. This thing makes wonderful, good sense. Chairman, you have come to the rescue at the right time…. I think this country is eternally indebted to you and to interCaribbean for your sense of partnership and public spiritedness and cooperation. And today is a happy day for me [and] I would say on behalf of Barbados, well done,” Minister Symmonds stated.

Acting CEO at the BTMI, Craig Hinds, pointed out that the new route not only connects two vibrant Caribbean nations but will also strengthen and deepen the bond of friendship and cooperation between the two islands.

“Today marks a momentous occasion in our partnership with interCaribbean Airways. As we celebrate the inaugural flight between Barbados and Jamaica, this flight represents a new chapter in our connectivity and will undoubtedly bring immense benefits to both islands. As we welcome this new route, we are stepping into a chapter filled with opportunities for growth in areas such as leisure tourism, culture and sports, business, geography, and economic development.

“This flight will aid us in creating the bridge that brings us closer to our Caribbean neighbours, and for us to realise our dream for Barbados to be known as the hub for better connectivity throughout the Caribbean,” Mr. Hinds remarked.

Mr. Gardiner also concurred that the new direct route would assist in deepening regional relations. He said that the goal of interCaribbean “has always been to advance regional travel”, and through its operations, it is bridging more than destinations; it is also enabling the integration of people, thereby creating and widening future opportunities and prosperity in the region.
“This direct service will unite families, friends, businesses, and education and support great opportunities between the islands…. This strengthening link started today will have a tremendous social and economic impact on the lives of many by facilitating trade, tourism, investment and employment opportunities between Barbados, Jamaica, as well as the other southern Caribbean islands we connect through this hub here in Barbados,” Mr. Gardiner said.

He shared that Bridgetown, the Southern Caribbean hub for interCaribbean, will see the CRJ700 Jet aircraft flying to Kingston three times weekly; on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with return flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

interCaribbean was launched in 1991 and currently operates direct flights from Barbados to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Author: Sheena Forde-Craigg


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