ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (eTN) – The Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) has issued a statement supporting the decision by the government of Grenada in asking American Airlines to reduce its flights frequency to three flights per week as of February 2009.
The airline resumed a daily non-stop service to the island from Miami International Airport in November following a ten-year absence. But, within days of the arrival the chairman of the island’s Airlift Committee, Michael McIntyre, announced the reduction plea.
“It is the understanding of the GHTA, that the down turn in the global economy is a major factor in the loss of visitor arrivals to most tourism destinations, and in fact, several Caribbean destinations are being affected to a far greater extent than Grenada, and this trend will continue over the coming months,” McIntyre said. “This being the case, it was perhaps the wrong environment in which to begin daily flights between Miami and Grenada which would be unsustainable, and therefore it is the opinion of the GHTA that the government of Grenada made a wise decision in asking American Airlines for a reduction in the service to three flights per week.”
Presently, the government of Grenada makes payments to all international air carriers servicing the island. In the case of Europe-based carriers, monies paid by the government of Grenada are used to assist with the marketing of the flights. The contract negotiated with American Airlines required the Grenadian government to deposit US$1.5 million into a Bank of Nova Scotia LC Account to be drawn on should the payload fall below an agreed monthly figure.
The association said that in order to secure the American Airline service, the government of Grenada, while asking for contributions from other interested entities, made the required payment upfront, and now find itself in the position of having to ask for assistance in order to maintain the service provided by British Airways along with that of American Eagle and Air Jamaica, and to secure the service of Monarch Airlines from the United Kingdom.