A Sunwing Airlines aircraft. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal)

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority, the state entity charged with wooing airlines to fly to Argyle International Airport, which begins operating on Feb. 14, will announce at a press conference today, the details of chartered flights from Toronto to Argyle on Feb. 14.

Head of the authority, Glen Beache, said earlier this month that the authority would pay for the flight and hopes to recoup the money through ticket sales.

He suggested that the flight, and another from New York, could cost taxpayers up to US$100,000 each.

Sunwing Airlines is expected to fly from Toronto to Argyle on Feb. 14 and return one week later to take passengers back to the North American city.

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Searchlight newspaper said on Monday that the authority has released the details of the Toronto-Argyle charter.

The Tourism Authority does not send its press releases to iWitness News or invite us to its press briefings or other events.

Searchlight did not say how the details were released, but said passengers would be asked to pay CA$899 for a return ticket and CA$499 for a one-day flight.

The flight leaves Toronto at 9:30 a.m. and lands at Argyle at 3:40 p.m.

Tickets are being sold through G.G. Tours in Toronto.

The authority will announce the details of the flight one week after Beache asked members of the public to stop calling Sunwiug to inquire about the details.

He had said weeks earlier that Sunwing would make the flight, but had provided no additional details.

Last week, in telling the public to stop calling Sunwing, Beache said that the charter was being arranged through G.G. Tours.

At a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves announced that the regional civil aviation body had granted permission for operations to begin at Argyle at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 14.

The prime minister said he expects that at the appropriate time, Beache would give all the up to date information about the flights into the airport on Feb. 14.

Gonsalves, however, said he has been told that “matters are satisfactory in train and the appropriate announcements would be made, hopefully, on a timely basis”.

Don’t call airlines that will fly to Argyle — Glen Beache

4 replies on “Officials to announce Argyle charter details today”

  1. This $CDN 899 fare is a rip-off, big time!!!

    A round trip West Jet fare, Toronto-Barbados, Monday, Feb. 13 returning Wed. Feb. 22, is $CDN 531.07 (including all taxes), or 40 percent less.

    And this is with a guarantee that all seats will be sold.

    Can you image the cost of regularly scheduled non-stop flights? Given that they would fly half empty once or twice a week, $CDN 1,200 return would be my guess without government subsidies; with subsidies, they would also fly half empty and at much lower passenger cost but the government would have to pick up the rest.

    Either way, Argyle airport is doomed.

  2. Dr. Dexter Lewis says:

    Let us hope that this is not another scam as has happened before in NYC of people raising monies to do beneficial things in SVG which never happen.
    In the meantime though these guys are willing to spend large sums of taxpayers monies to make themselves look good but our roads are in terrible shape. I see holes which have been in the roads for 3 years or more and just keep getting wider and wider and deeper and deeper.
    But the ULP has to look good regardless of the damage to others.

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