PM Douglas welcomes Air Canada’s scheduled flights to St. Kitts in December

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JULY 20TH 2011 – Soon to be introduced scheduled direct flights between Canada and St. Kitts and Nevis by Air Canada will not only aid the twin-island Federation’s tourism sector, but it also makes it easier for nationals and residents to pursue their own off-island interests.

“Easy access to major metropolitan centers enables them to function at a more efficient and competitive level. And this is good,” said St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas during his weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister” on Tuesday.

Air Canada begins flights between St. Kitts and Toronto on December 23, 2011 and will continue until April 2012.

“Travelers have to be able to get to and from there without undue stress and hardship and in keeping with our strategy to expand the metropolitan centers from which direct flights to St. Kitts and Nevis will be possible,” said Dr. Douglas.

He said the tourism industry has a significant multiplier effect where the economy is concerned and more visitors mean greater vitality within the many other sectors that are affected, directly and indirectly, by the tourism industry.

“In addition to the tourism angle, however, St. Kitts and Nevis is very much a part of the globalized world. Our students, our business people, and others often need to travel overseas in order to remain competitive, and in order to advance their academic and business interests,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He noted that St. Kitts and Nevis is very much a part of that intensely competitive global phenomenon and airlift is key to all island-nations.

“Indeed many island nations in various parts of the world that have had difficulty competing in the global tourism market, experience these difficulties because of inadequate airlift. For many of them, it is simply too difficult, too inconvenient, too hard for international travelers to get from their home base to the island-nation in question,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He pointed to his Government’s decision several years ago to make easy access to St. Kitts and Nevis a key component of the tourism strategy by expanding the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport so that it would be able to handle the type of 21st century aircraft that transport large numbers of passengers.

“And equally importantly, we entered into the kinds of negotiations that were key to expediting and facilitating travel from major metropolitan centers and airline industry hubs to St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

American Airlines operates a daily flight from Miami and twice weekly flights from New York. Delta Airlines and US Airways operate weekly flights from Atlanta and Charlotte and British Airways twice weekly flights from Gatwick, London.

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