KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Airlines interested in flying to the Argyle International Airport (AIA) when it opens in 2014 don’t want their competitors to know, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said yesterday.
“We have airlines who have already indicated their interest and none wants us to mention their names, because, obviously, they don’t want their competitors to know until quite late what they are engaged in,” Gonsalves said at an AIA symposium.
“Some may suspect which ones may be coming. And, like other airports in the region, in order for our destination to be competitive, we also have to offer certain incentives and we are discussing all of those,” he further stated.
“I must say that recently I myself was on the road doing some promotion of the Argyle International Airport,” Gonsalves said, as he mentioned interviews conducted by media in the United States during a recent trip to New York.
Gonsalves said that marketing of the EC$652 million facility began in 2007 with the Tourism Authority, International Airport Development Company (IADC) and Invest SVG contributing to the efforts
The Tourism Authority, with the support of IADC, has an arrangement with the Boyd Group International Inc., an aviation consulting, forecasting, and research firm from the United States, according to the Prime Minister.
The group will assist with the development and execution of air service recruitment strategies for this country, especially the AIA.
The recruitment strategies include developing an air service blue print for the AIA and building airline awareness through meetings at international conferences.
It will also speak to arranging guided tours of the AIA, key resorts and other attractions for airlines and tour operators and assisting with negotiations of air service agreements with targeted airlines, Gonsalves said.