Barbados has made a significant stride to boost inter-regional travel through discussions with French airline Air Antilles. As a result, from April 1, 2023, the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) will welcome a new daily schedule of flights between Barbados and Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, and Pointe-a-Pitre in Guadeloupe.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), Shelly Williams, made the announcement, stating that “Inter-regional travel is very important to us at the BTMI and as part of our post-COVID recovery strategy, it was time to look at the best way to increase activity between Barbados and the Caribbean. Currently, Air Antilles offers a service to Barbados of three to four flights weekly, and with a 133 per cent increase in seats, we anticipate incremental economic earnings of BBD $9M annually.”
Air Antilles airline seats will see a sharp rise from 15, 000 to 35, 000 annually, and the estimated economic impact is derived from increased visitors, daily spend and travel fees. The partnership will also allow for extended airlift directly to the French Caribbean, through Corsair Airline, making connections to Barbados.
“This growth in capacity will be supplemented by a high-profile marketing campaign by Air Antilles as well as in-market marketing and promotional activities from the BTMI, to keep Barbados top-of-mind and ensure that we fill these additional seats,” Williams added.
The French airline, based in Guadeloupe, has been flying to Barbados since February 2017. Founder and owner, Eric Koury, stated that he was looking forward to doing more business with Barbados. “Barbados continues to perform well for us as a destination, and has been a strong partner over the past six years. As we grow and expand our footprint throughout the Caribbean, we are eager to increase business with Barbados and look forward to making this venture a success. We are excited with this partnership commitment for Barbados, for a minimum of one year in the first instance, and are pleased to announce that flights have already been loaded for sale.”
BTMI Chairman Williams commented that in addition to increased capacity, the expansion of the Air Antilles service will boost Barbados’ connections into non-traditional visitor source markets as far as Europe. “We are especially pleased to deepen relations with the French Caribbean, and this revamped service fits into our overall airlift strategy of increasing connectivity to position GAIA as a true hub of the Caribbean.
“The Pointe à Pitre and Fort de France routes connect us directly with France, through Corsair. France is a key market for us as we expand and diversify the places where we do business. We thank Air Antilles for their continued confidence in the destination and look forward to working closely with them.”
New Flight Schedule
- Daily service between Bridgetown (BGI) and Saint Lucia Castries (SLU)
- Daily service between Bridgetown (BGI) and Pointe à Pitre (PTP)
- Daily service between Bridgetown (BGI) and Paris (ORY) through Fort de France (FDF) or Pointe à Pitre (PTP) with Air France and Corsair.
- Daily service between Bridgetown (BGI) and St Martin Grand Case (SFG)
- 8 weekly flights between Bridgetown (BGI) and Fort de France (FDF) including 4 direct services on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; and 4 indirect services with a stop-over in Saint Lucia Castries (SLU) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
- 3 weekly flights between Bridgetown (BGI) and Melville Hall Dominica (DOM) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays