An international carrier will begin flying from Argyle International Airport to Miami, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said on Wednesday, the first anniversary of the opening of the airport.
“… I’m not calling the name of the airline. We will have Miami. And I’m hoping that when we get Buccama on the Bay up and running that we will be coming out of London,” Gonsalves said.
“So that in one year, we haven‘t done badly. We haven’t done badly at all in the first year,” he said.
Buccament Bay Resort, a favourite hotel for British tourist, has been closed since December 2016. The government says the privately owned, heavily indebted resort, should reopen later this year.
The AIA-Miami flight will follow the March 14 commencement of flights from New York’s JFK to Argyle, which Caribbean Airlines will begin operating on March 14.
Air Canada Rouge, which on Dec. 14, became the first international carrier to operate non-stop scheduled flights to Argyle, is slated to continue those flights until April 14.
Gonsalves said that some persons were asking why it took so long to get flights to get to New York.
He said that while the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) has approved the AIA, the Department of Transport in the United States has to give an airline permission to fly from the United States to Argyle.
“And other places accept what ECCAA says, but the Americans, before the Department of Transport gives the OK, they need to hear what TSA thinks. And TSA has to come and look at you. Not a pass or fail, you know. And they then tell the Department of Transport it is ok, the fellas have everything is order. We can trust them.”
Gonsalves said a tremendous amount of technical and other work had to be done for the airport to start getting flights.
“Doesn’t mean that we still don’t have challenges… but we are coming well…” he said.