Second British Airways inaugural flight lands in St.Kitts: Historic occasion witnessed by Island dignitaries

St. Kitts April 1, 2010: British Airways second inaugural flight from London (Gatwick) landed to a festive welcome at St. Kitts Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport yesterday, marking yet another historic occasion for the destination.

Flight BA 2157 touched down at 15.35 local time commemorating the start of a second weekly flight to the island within a 14 month period. On the tarmac to greet the flight were leading St. Kitts government and tourism officials including Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Hon. Richard Skerritt, Chairman of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Alfonso O’Garro and CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Rosecita Jeffers.

Speaking at a brief ceremony to welcome in the flight, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Hon. Richard Skerritt, said, “Today’s flight is a very important indicator of the confidence that BA has in our destination for the future. It is therefore reason for us to feel really good about the possibilities but it also is a reminder about the responsibility we have to make sure that the flights bring significant numbers into our country and that we get maximum expenditure per person into the economy through hotels, restaurants, transportation, entertainment…all the other services that relate to making our visitor experience a world class experience. ”

Skerritt went on to say, “Tourism is the business of making people happy, making people relax and get away from their daily stresses, and St. Kitts and Nevis is one of the Caribbean destinations that is perfectly suited to achieve that.. We are very optimistic that we will be able to achieve that on a continuous growth curve and this second weekly flight in just over a year is an indicator that we are making progress. So, this is really a very good day for St. Kitts and Nevis tourism. ”

Minister Skerritt personally thanked British Airways, making a presentation to BA Flight Captain, Alistair McLaren, who, fittingly, celebrated his first visit to St. Kitts as BA 2157 touched down.

Though not present in St. Kitts for this historic occasion, Richard Tams, British Airways’ Head of UK & Ireland Sales and Marketing, expressed his delight in the start of the new service: “Following the inaugural flight last January, St Kitts has proven very popular with our customers thanks to its beauty and the warm welcome they are receiving. We recognise how much effort has been invested by the St Kitts authorities into making this direct flight from the UK a success and ensuring that our customers thoroughly enjoy their time on the island, so we’re delighted to have launched our second BA service there this week.”

The island welcome team included Cedric Liburd, Advisor to the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport; Rosecita Jeffers, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Michael Head, Manager of the Hotel and Tourism Association; Peter Allcorn, Honorary British Consulate; Marcellus Phillip, Acting CEO of the St. Christopher Air & Sea Ports Authority and Denzil Jones, Airport Manager.

The second new BA service represents the only carrier to offer a weekly scheduled service from the UK to St. Kitts. The flight departs London Gatwick’s airport at 10.40 a.m., arriving at RLB International at 15:35. The return flight will leave St. Kitts at 17:05, arriving at London (Gatwick) at 07.40 the next day. BA uses a three class, 280 seat Boeing 777 aircraft with 40 Club World seats, 24 World Traveller Plus and 216 World Traveller seats. This twice weekly flight by BA will further increase capacity to the destination, while the inclusion of the Club World seats attract upmarket UK tour operators to sell both St. Kitts & Nevis. The London Gatwick service will also connect a wide array of UK and European cities served by BA.

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