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Grenada Aviation

American Airlines returns to Grenada after a 10-year break

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Linda Straker  Apr 24, 2008

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (eTN) – Grenadian Tourism Minister Claris Modeste-Curwen has confirmed that the “government and American Airlines has signed an agreement resulting in the airline returning to the island from November after a 10-year absence.” This development comes after months of negotiations between the two parties.

“The flights are being advertised from the airline, it’s on the reservation booking system and we anticipate that this will bring in more visitors, not because it’s a bigger aircraft but Miami is the hub for some major airlines and this will give all persons who want to travel to Grenada a better choice,” the tourism minister said.

According to the minister, the Grenadian government had to provide a financial US$1.5 million guarantee to the airline, as part of the deal. “This condition is part of the market and risk sharing commitment, it is practically impossible for any country to have an agreement these days with an airlines without putting up some money, so we agreed and we are now negotiating with all the stakeholders to arrive at the amount.”

Member of the Grenada Airlift Committee, Sir Royston Hopkin, said that the private sector is being asked to support the financial arrangement reached with the airline.
“Although, this type of commitment is usually from government, we, in the private sector, see it as an important enough to step in to render support because of the other commitment already given to other airlines, negotiations was conducted with the private sector to take up the full cost and today we are close to the amount,” he said.

A statement from American Airlines stated that it will begin flying between Miami and Grenada from Nov. 20, 2008 using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft configured with 16 seats in first class and 132 seats in economy class. Scheduled to overnight, the flight will depart from Miami at 5:00 pm and arrive in Grenada at 9:30 pm, then depart at 9:30 am the following day and arrive in Miami at 12:15 pm the same day.

The airline’s upcoming service from Miami is the only non-stop service currently scheduled between South Florida and Grenada, which is located approximately 100 miles off the coast of Venezuela. The new service complements existing flights to Grenada from San Juan, Puerto Rico, offered by American Eagle, the regional affiliate of American Airlines.

"Grenada is a wonderful addition to American's schedule from South Florida," said Peter J. Dolara, American Airlines’ senior vice president for Miami, Caribbean and Latin America. "It has much to offer visitors, and American's convenient nonstop flight from Miami puts it all virtually at South Florida's doorstep. Our connecting service via the Miami hub brings Grenada closer to dozens of other cities as well."

Grenada is the third Caribbean destination from South Florida to be added to American's schedule this year. Earlier, American announced it will begin non-stop service from Fort Lauderdale to Kingston, Jamaica, in June, and from Miami to Antigua, also starting Nov. 20.

Minister Modeste-Curwen also announced that the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airways would commence flights to Grenada beginning this June. This is expected to boost regional travel while British Airways have given a commitment to have a second year round flight from London.

“Grenada lost its market share in the USA when American Airline left 10 years ago and with American now deciding to put on a flight to Grenada we will be back on our way to regaining that market share,” she said. “As for the regional airline the statistics have shown that there is a down turn in visitors from Trinidad and with a second service available we know what will happen while as for London, statistics have shown that this is now our major market, so a second year round flight is definitely good news for the tourism sector.”

American Airlines returns to Grenada after a 10-year break

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