BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - AS the tourism sector slowly reopens following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism has confirmed that there would be additional scheduled flights to the RLB International Airport in the coming weeks.
This comes as St. Kitts and Nevis recently reopened its borders and has seen one scheduled weekly flight from American Airlines.
During his speech in the National Assembly yesterday (Nov. 17), Minister of Tourism Lindsay Grant disclosed that there are additional American Airline flights on the schedule along with the Winair service.
Since the reopening of the borders on November 7, the Government has only had the American Airlines flight on schedule after the British Airways service was scrapped following a government curfew and shutdowns owing to an uptick in the number of Coronavirus cases.
“For the month of November, all airlines will operate weekly Saturday service into the RLB International Airport. And additionally, starting on November 21, American Airlines will add Wednesday and Sunday rotations to accommodate those travelling from the US for Thanksgiving,” Minister Grant said.
The local tourism sector has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the sector being shut for more than seven months and the phased reopening of the borders is expected to bring much-needed injection.
Minister Grant told the National Assembly that the first commercial flights on November 7 arrived with a total of 100 passengers from Miami and San Juan.
With those arrivals, he noted, taxi operators benefited significantly with many of the 29 operators making two drops of between US$16 to US$28.
“Mr. Speaker, our visitors were lodged at six different accommodations. Our international visitors (Non-Nationals/Non-Residents) stayed at the Four Seasons Resort, Park Hyatt and Royal St. Kitts Hotel. Our Nationals and Residents stayed at Ocean Terrace Inn, Oualie Beach Resort, Potworks and the Royal St. Kitts Hotel, which also received 39 students,” the Minister disclosed.
Speaking to the training of individuals and certification of facilities, it was explained that 4,314 persons out of 5,000 in the Tourism Industry completed the Travel Approved training, with the breakdown showing 2,814 persons on St. Kitts trained, while a further 1,500 persons did similarly in Nevis.
“While the accommodations sector, the SCASPA and Airport Team, and Taxi Operators have trained the largest number of persons, every sector in the Tourism Industry has been represented in the classes,” Grant added.