Argyle International Airport, seen here on July 29, 2014, is scheduled to be completed by year end. (IWN photo)

The government does not know as yet the airiness that are interested in flying to Argyle International Airport, which is expected to become operational by the middle of next year.

“We expect that we would have a number of airlines that would begin flying into St. Vincent and the Grenadines when the facility is commissioned. We don’t have the exact names as yet, that discussion is continuing and to see what type of arrangement, because, of course, there are different types of arrangements that can be arrived at,” Minister of Tourism Cecil “Ces” McKie told the media on Thursday, after Cabinet toured the airport, which is scheduled to be completed by year end.

McKie, however, said St. Vincent and the Grenadines arguably has the most diverse tourism product.

“And I think we have to use that to our advantage and I think the airlines have recognised that, and therefore they are discussing with us the possibility of flying to the destination,” McKie said.

He said a number of airlines have “come in” from the United Kingdom and North America, “and we are completing visit from other airlines”.

“They have indicated an intense interest in flying to the destination, but, of course, we have to look at all the ramifications to let them come and see for themselves what possibilities exist here, because a lot of them don’t want short-term arrangements; they are looking for medium to long term arrangements, and therefore we have to bring them here and have the necessary discussions with them,” McKie said.

McKie, however, noted that SVG has over the past few years received several tourism and travel awards from the international media.

“… the destination is out there, but there is always more that we can do to attract attention to the destination and also to encourage Vincentians out there to spread the word,” the minister further said.

McKie further told the media that hotel space “is one of our greatest challenges” even as he said the airport is expected to result in increase visitor arrivals.

“… we certainly don’t have the capacity if a number of the airlines or a number of the airlines descend on us in short time, and that is why the ministry, the Tourism Authority, as well as the Prime Minister himself, we have offered the local operators, the local stakeholders, and we have put it open to the world, come and invest in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; local operators, expand your units, collaborate in terms of establishing new facilities.”

He said the government has offered to be a partner in such investment and had “a number of interest and interest groups to examine what is possible here”.

“And I think we also have some indication that we have some investors coming to look at the possibilities in the near future as well,” McKie said.

9 replies on “No ‘exact names’ yet of airlines planning to fly to Argyle Airport”

    1. james the lion monroe says:

      What kind of nonesense is this? Who would spend millions to build an international airport and still has no airlines to fly to svg. Talking about fooling the people. What a joke

  1. I would shudder to think that this sort of information was not included in the business case for the airport.
    Surely the feasibility study or even the ROCE statement would give some kind of idea based on the then existing discussions.
    I have to do all this in my current role if I want to spend more than £10K surely a c$666M project would demand some form of business case; or am I being silly?

    Still I have absolute confidence in the competence of the government of SVG.
    One does not go around plunking international airports down willy-nilly without justification. The fact that they do not wish to disclose this information must be due to the overly sensitive nature of the issue at hand, that is to say, one would not wish to prejudice the truth without first establishing the inherent weaknesses of said truth.

  2. Airlines can’t say they would definitely fly to SVG because the airport is still under construction and requires the approval of ICAO (or it’s Caribbean equivalent) to certify the airport.

  3. What a bunch of jokers…Airport finishing this years, that’s the next four months. You don’t even have a signature on a piece of paper, for some kind of commitment. (jokes)

    If they do come, and that’s a BIG IF, you can bet your life the government will have to subsidize these flights, and we all know this government broken. (More Jokes)

    Last but not least, you spend all this money on a airport and didn’t upgrade your infrastructure first, you put the cart before the horse. (Biggest Joke of them all).

    1. James the lion monroe says:

      Camilo, you made me laugh with your reference, to the cart before the horse. svg has high crime, no major hotels, restaurants or bars .People are afraid to walk late at night, etc. Who would come to svg, when you can fly to most caribbean islands, for less than a thousand dollars and don’t have to worry about being killed.

  4. According to DFP (below): ” I have absolute confidence in the competence of the government of SVG…. One does not go around plunking international airports down willy-nilly without justification.”

    DFP is quite wrong because there are many examples of governments and private entities “plunking international airports down willy-nilly without justification” all around the world. Just Google “mothballed airports” and see for yourself.

    For example, Ciudad Real International Airport in central Spain opened in 2009 to much hype and fanfare. The airport, which was meant to handle overflow from Madrid’s Barajas airport, cost nearly four (4) billion EC dollars to build, closed after operating for just three years. The airport offered high-speed rail connection to Madrid, some 150 miles away and was meant to handle roughly 600,000 passengers annually. The 28,000 square-foot airport now sits abandoned, despite its ripe positioning for holiday makers from within Spain, as well as international visitors because its parent company went into receivership.

    Again, just one of dozens of examples. As might be expected, because of the greater economic discipline in the capitalist sector, there have been far more government than private-sector white elephant airports built. Today, except for cash-rich countries like China, governments hardly build airports anymore. Their reasoning is that if the private sector isn’t interested, this a good sign that the airport in question is not needed.

    I am sure that the Argyle International Airport will be added to the mothballed list in short order because I have “absolute confidence” that it was built “willy-nilly without justification.”

  5. According to DFP (below): ” I have absolute confidence in the competence of the government of SVG…. One does not go around plunking international airports down willy-nilly without justification.”

    DFP is quite wrong because there are examples of governments and private entities “plunking international airports down willy-nilly without justification” all around the world. Just Google “mothballed airports” and see for yourself.

    For example, Ciudad Real International Airport in central Spain opened in 2009 to much hype and fanfare. The airport, which was meant to handle overflow from Madrid’s Barajas airport, cost nearly four (4) billion EC dollars to build, closed after operating for just three years. The airport offered high-speed rail connection to Madrid, some 150 miles away and was meant to handle roughly 600,000 passengers annually. The 28,000 square-foot airport now sits abandoned, despite its ripe positioning for holiday makers from within Spain, as well as international visitors because its parent company went into receivership.

    Again, just one of many examples. As might be expected, because of the greater economic discipline in the capitalist sector, there have been far more government than private-sector white elephant airports built. Today, except for cash-rich countries like China, governments hardly build airports anymore. Their reasoning is that if the private sector isn’t interested, this a good sign that the airport in question is not needed.

    I am sure that the Argyle International Airport will be added to the mothballed list in short order because I have “absolute confidence” that it was built “willy-nilly without justification.”

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