Dancing masquerades, officials greet Air Canada’s inaugural non-stop weekly flight from Toronto

Air Canada lands at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, DECEMBER 29TH 2011 (CUOPM) – Dancing masquerades and a watery christening from the Airport Fire Services, greeted the captain, crew and passengers when the Air Canada inaugural flight touched down last Friday from the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport.

The colorful masquerades lined the walkway to the arrivals hall, while the then reigning Miss St. Kitts and Nevis Iantavian Queeley greeted the captain and Air Canada officials including the Vice President for marketing Mr. Nino Montagnese at the steps of the Airbus 319 aircraft.

A welcome ceremony at the VIP Lounge was attended by Governor General His Excellency Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian; Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Sam Condor; Minister of Tourism and International Sen. the Hon. Richard Skerritt; Chairman of the St. Kitts Air and Sea Ports Authority, Mr. Linkon Maynard and Chairman of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Mr. Alphonso O’Garro; CEO of the St. Kitts and Nevis Hotel and Tourism Association, Mr. Michael Head as well as airport and airlines officials.

Mr. O’Garro, who chaired the ceremony, said Canada is a primary source market for visitor arrivals to St. Kitts and Nevis.

“Canada is also home to a very large population of the Diaspora. The Tourism Authority is expecting great things from this flight as Canada is now on the radar and fits nicely into our airlift strategy,” said Mr. O’Garro, who pointed out that the Authority has pursued airlift from North America.

“Airlift along with a vibrant and engaged accommodation sector are key components of any successful destination strategy. We must have these two,” said O’Garro, who added that the Air Canada Vacations flights will increase visitor arrivals in 2012 and beyond.

He said the first two flights are completely sold out.

Minister Skerritt presented a painting of Independence Square to the captain, who expressed appreciation adding that he enjoyed flying into St. Kitts.

“It is a beautiful place,” he said.

Prime Minister Douglas presented a plaque to the Vice President of Air Canada Vacations on behalf of the Government and the People of St. Kitts and Nevis to mark the inaugural flight.

The non-stop flight operates from Toronto on Fridays and is the island’s only non-stop commercial flight from Canada, effectively making St. Kitts and its sister island, Nevis, a more viable winter destination choice for travelers from this key North American market.

Air Canada uses an Airbus 319 aircraft with 108 Economy Class seats and 12 Business Class seats.

Fire tenders “baptize” the Air Canada aircaft as it taxi to the tarmac.

Passengers disembark from the Air Canada aircraft at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport.

Passengers disembark from the Air Canada aircraft at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport.

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas (right) presents plaque to Air Canada Vacations Vice President Mr. Nino Montagnese.

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Tourism and International Transportation (right) presents painting to the captain of the Air Canada aircraft.

A toast to the partnership between Air Canada and St. Kitts and Nevis.

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