SVG Air/Grenadine Air Alliance: Bridging the Gap
- SVG Air and Mustique Airways Air have combined to form a SVG Air/Grenadines Air Alliance, operating 17 Aircraft, with bases in St Vincent, Antigua and Grenada.
Fri, Feb 17, 2017
Air travel in and out of St. Vincent and the Grenadines islands and neighbouring states has been problematic at the best of times, creating delays and frustrations for thousands of travelers throughout the years.
There is little doubt that the situation has critically affected many sectors of our economy, especially the Tourism sector.
THE VINCENTIAN, while enthusiastically endorsing the imminent opening of the Argyle International Airport (AIA), destined to become the crown jewel of airports in the Eastern Caribbean, questioned the role the smaller carriers in the region might play to close existing and future service gaps for tourists planning to visit the region.
In an exclusive interview with Paul Gravel, Managing Director of SVG Air/Grenadine Air Alliance, he stated that in his opinion, St. Vincent and the Grenadines having a truly international airport, will open unprecedented opportunities not only for SVG Air, but other carriers, tourist operators, taxis and those whose products and services cater to the tourism industry.
Gravel stated that SVG Air/Grenadine Air Alliance has developed plans to provide a complementary service to the new Wide Body Carriers soon to be servicing, AIA.
"By connecting the Grenadines to these carriers and vice versa, we will be incorporating into our schedule plans to meet these arrivals by providing timely and cost-effective onward connections to the Grenadines,” Gravel said.
SVG Air/Grenadine Air Alliance has already incorporated a new Affordable Air Bridge Connection from St Vincent to St Lucia and vice versa, with multiple departures on the days when scheduled direct flights are unavailable.
"For those who live or work in the Grenadines, we are establishing a new southbound afternoon service from AIA, allowing passengers to come to the mainland in the morning to do business or attend to medical needs or other appointments for the day, and return home in the afternoon - a same day return service. This will eliminate the need to overnight while attending to business and personal needs on the mainland,” Gravel added.
To some degree, this service will help fill the gap left by the cancellation of the Fast Ferry service, and the inevitable periodic breakdowns of one or more of the traditional ferries, especially between St. Vincent and Bequia.
"When there are no direct flights scheduled, we will be offering midday direct services to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from Barbados. This service will be in addition to our current daily 4:30 p.m flights that will be flying from Barbados to AIA via the Grenadines,” he said.
Gravel also projected that the airline was planning to introduce services using its efficient 19-seater Twin Otter aircraft to locations where LIAT has withdrawn service; which are not viable and safely accessible with larger aircraft. An example would be a twice daily morning and evening service between St. Vincent and Grenada.
The Managing Director went on to say that SVG Air/Grenadines Air Alliance looks forward to the challenges and opportunities the new Argyle International Airport will present to the citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the traveling public, and wishes everyone associated with the project, congratulations and success now and in the long term future.