Monday,  January 25, 2021  3:30 am

Sunshine calling: Air Canada returns to Antigua

Sunshine calling: Air Canada returns to Antigua
Welcoming the captains and crew of Air Canada. (Supplied)
Pax Global Media

Air Canada returned to Antigua on Sunday, Dec. 6, giving the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda a boost in airlift for the winter season as more travellers seek to escape the cold weather.  

U.S. and UK airlines will be adding additional flights to the Caribbean destination within the month, according to a press release. 

The Sunday flight was Air Canada’s first flight to Antigua since March. Passengers and flight crew were greeted upon arrival with a water salute and the Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Charles Fernandez and CEO of Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James, were there to greet the crew and passengers.

“We are heading into the holiday season with increased airlift as consumer confidence is returning," said Minister Fernandez.  

American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines will also have increased flight schedules to Antigua in the coming months from U.S. gateways.

Air Canada arrives in Antigua. (Supplied)

“We’ve been constantly engaging with airline partners, and most importantly engaging with the travel trade to keep the interest and the drive in the destination," said Mr. James, who encouraged tourism stakeholders to remain optimistic going into 2021. 

Antigua has long been a regional hub for the Eastern Caribbean. This is even more important now as some neighbouring islands are not being regularly serviced from Canada. 

Great connections can be had through Antigua’s V.C. Bird International Airport to Anguilla, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat (by ferry), St. Barths, St. Maarten, and St. Kitts/Nevis. 

Antigua has long been a regional hub for the Eastern Caribbean. (Supplied)

Regional airlines that service Antigua include LIAT, St. Barths Commuter, Trans Anguilla Airways, and Winair.

Sunwing and WestJet have yet to announce resumption dates for flights to the destination from Canada, but the carriers are expected to resume flying early in 2021.   

November also saw the return of LIAT Airlines to the skies, with the resumption of regular commercial service on Nov. 30. 

The airline will operate flights, five days a week to seven destinations: Antigua, Barbados Dominica Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, and St. Vincent.  

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