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Banks responds to American Eagle flight cuts

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Banks responds to American Eagle flight cuts

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Jan 28, 2010


Banks responds to American Eagle flight cuts
By Anguilla Correspondent

Tourism Minister Victor Banks has responded promptly to news that American Eagle plans to cut the number of daily flights to Anguilla from seven to three per week effective March 13, 2010.

American Eagle Regional Manager Evette Negron informed the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association (AHTA) that the airline’s decision had to do with the “very low load factors” and that the airline would need to need an improvement in order to justify a daily service to the island.

Banks, who is also his island’s Finance and Economic Development Minister told the government-financed national broadcast station Radio Anguilla the administration is quite concerned about the reduction in American Eagle flights to Anguilla.

He said that the Ministry of Tourism is exploring alternative means to airlift passengers from San Juan, Puerto Rico including but not only limited to regional carriers but local airlines as well.

Banks said this latest news points to the importance of other airline hubs such as the Princess Juliana International airport in neighbouring Dutch St Maarten and V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua and Barbuda.

The Tourism Minister also notes that in the future Anguilla may have to look at all the regional airline hubs and seek to develop stronger access arrangements into and out of Anguilla.

American Eagle officials have said that they will operate flights into and out Anguilla on Saturday, Sunday and Monday only; with a scheduled flight departing San Juan at 2.35 pm. A return flight will leave Wall Blake airport at 3.35 pm.

Caribbean airline LIAT also provides a scheduled daily service to Anguilla in addition to a number of small, privately owned aircraft several of them locally owned. Tourism accounts for more than 70 percent of the island’s foreign exchange revenue.

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