Air Canada Rouge on its inaugural arrival at AIA on Dec. 14, 2017. (iWN photo)

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) says it welcomes Air Canada’s decision to increase service and offer year-round Air Canada Rouge non-stop flights from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to the Argyle International Airport.

Weekly Thursday flights resume on Oct. 25, 2018 and will continue on a year-round basis. A second weekly flight will be operating on Sundays during the peak winter travel season, between Dec. 16, 2018 and April 28, 2019.

The flights are operated using Air Canada Rouge’s A319 aircraft, with a capacity of 136 seats

”Air Canada is pleased to offer increased frequency and year-round service to St. Vincent and the Grenadines beginning this winter. Our decision is based on the strong performance of this route when we launched it last year and we are proud to be the first North American carrier to serve the islands,” said Mark Galardo, Vice President, Network Planning, Air Canada, according to an SVGTA press release

This is the second year the airline has offered non-stop flights since the opening of the Argyle International Airport on February 2017, and the first-time offering year-round to Canadian travellers. These flights are already available on sale through www.aircanada.com or through a preferred travel agent.

“We are very excited to have such a recognized partner in Air Canada Rouge for the year-round non-stop flights,” said Glen Beache, CEO of SVGTA.

“In opening Argyle International Airport last year, and now offering year-round flights out of Toronto for the first time, we look forward to welcoming even more Canadians travellers to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

The SVGTA says it will host a series of road shows later this month in Canada, to offer more information on the flights as well as destination activities and accommodations. The road shows in Canada will be the third leg of “DiscoverSVG” road shows being undertaken in the destination’s main tourism source markets.

CEO of the Tourism Authority, Glen Beache, speaks at the authority’s road show in the United Kingdom.

A delegation from the SVGTA headed by CEO of the Authority Glen Beache is in the United Kingdom for the road shows in that market.

The delegation also includes Chairman of the Board of Directors Bianca Porter, Marketing Officers Natasha Anderson and Jamali Jack as well as representatives from local hotels.

They joined Barbara Mercury and Gracita Allert of the SVG London Tourist Office, for events with travel trade personnel in London, Brighton and Birmingham.

The DiscoverSVG Road Shows will continue from Sept. 24 to Sept. 28 in Canada, where events will be held in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Oakville, Kingston, Ottawa and Montreal.

The United States leg of the road show will run from Oct. 1 to Oct. 4t with events in New York, Philadelphia, Connecticut and Boston.

The SVGTA says it will also extend the road shows to the Caribbean market during November, which is also celebrated across the region as Caribbean Tourism Month.

16 replies on “Air Canada offers year-round flights to AIA after ‘strong performance’”

    1. even if thats true , svg not the only country that do this practice …..its normal business practice .
      should they do nothing ……

      1. No AI paying the airline is quite OK, but they are pretending that the airline wants to fly because of the large amount of flying passengers when most flights have only been half full.

        It’s just more lies.

  1. While this will make it easier and cheaper for Vincentians in the greater Toronto area to return home for a visit, it will do little or nothing to increase the cohort of foreign tourists Argyle airport was built to attract if only because over half these flights will take place outside the Caribbean tourist season. Of the rest, most of its seats would occupied by Vincentians.

    Nor would these flights attract more than a pitiful handful of Vincentians who would refuse to travel home if they had to transfer through Barbados.

    1. I have said before that despite Ralph’s protestations that Argyle was intended to attract tourists, Argyle was built first and foremost for Vincentian convenience – flying to and fro directly from JFK, Toronto, and MIA to SVG. Tourists don’t vote in St. Vincent; Vincentians do. And we are very very happy that we have these direct flights now. Obviously if we can attract more tourists to fly with us that is gravy on the meat. But the Canadian Airlines says they have strong booking anyway so we clearly don’t need too many Canadians to sustain the route year long.

      This is great news for Vincentian passengers. And every Vincentian flyer knows this. And Ralph knows this too – after all he’s a frequent flyer.

      1. Yes, I acknowledged this belief in my most recent AIA essay posted above (https://www.iwnsvg.com/2018/08/27/shifting-the-goalposts-at-argyle-airport/) but contend that the convenience factor is grossly exaggerated because in 2018 there will be only 98 nonstop flights from New York, Toronto, and Miami to AIA (or less than two per week each carrying a maximum average of 156 passengers) as opposed to over 1,600 annual nonstop multi-day LIAT flights seven days a week from Barbados (or over 30 per week averaging a maximum of around 58 passengers each) and hundreds more from the nearby hubs in Grenada, St. Lucia, and Trinidad to conveniently serve local, regional, and international travelers.

        These figures suggest that convenience will affect only a tiny number of Vincentian flyers and the truly most convenient way to reach the mainland will always be by a small plane from a neighbouring island.

  2. In all of 2018 and including these Air Canada flights there will be 98 nonstop flights from New York, Toronto, and Miami to AIA (or less than two per week each carrying a maximum average of 156 passengers) as opposed to over 1,600 annual nonstop multi-day LIAT flights seven days a week from Barbados (or over 30 per week averaging a maximum of around 58 passengers each) and hundreds more from the nearby hubs in Grenada, St. Lucia, and Trinidad to conveniently serve local, regional, and international travelers.

    These figures suggests that the most convenient way to reach the mainland will also be on a small plane from a neighbouring island.

  3. While I welcome the efforts of DiscoverSVG Road Show, we should work even harder to clean up our capital, which currently looks filthy and lacks character. Our tourism hotspots need to be brought up to date to create the WOW!! effect. Finally, crime and violence seem to be more popular that our tourism products.

    Let’s not rejoice too soon about strong performance as this industry is still a volatile one. C. Ben has captured more of what I’ll like to mention.

    1. In over 16 years of being in power, this government has done nothing to “clean up our capital.” They are not about to start now. Indeed, it has stood by and watched Kingstown deteriorate in appearance, cleanliness, public order (especially the vendor crisis), traffic conjestion, noise, and safety day after day, year after year.

      Our tourism facilites could never achieve a “WOW!! effect” regardless of how much they are brought up to date simply because they have low potential to begin with, as I have repeatedly stated, an observation this regime certainly is aware of since so many of their members have travelled to places with outstanding natural tourism facilties which is why it would be a waste of time trying to spruce them up based on the premise that if you put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig.

      As for crime and violence, there are places in the Caribbean with lots more of both that still have thriving tourist industries because they have far more and better holiday resources such as miles of white sand beaches and because most of the crime and violence occurs outside the tourist zones. Two good examples are the north coast of Jamaica and the Tobago part of the larger country of Trinidad/Tobago.

      1. Cleaning up Kingstown physically and cleaning up the criminals in SVG should be done regardless of the impact on tourism. These are some of the most obvious examples of poor governance in SVG. SVG has enough resources to do both effectively. What we lack is the will on the part of the government to get it done. the example of the building of AIA has some lessons here. The government can get difficult things done if it truly cares. The only reasonable conclusion here is that the government does not see cleaning up Kingstown physically and social as urgent matters of governance.

  4. Seems like SVG the only place with crime. Twenty-one homicides has been recorded in St.Kitts thus far, a population of roughly (fifty thousands). Discover SVG Roadshow is currently in the UK, then unto Canada, after which they’ll head to the USA. Final stop would be the Caribbean. Mr Jack did an awesome job regards the latest promotional video. Oh boy I love it. Vincy patriot!

  5. just one question can a new airport attract plane loads of tourist? answer no. resorts, resorts, resort, casinos strip clubs, hospitality training affordable and upscale restaurants develop the ecotourist sector and decriminalize weed in small quantities and low crime rate. The tourism giants in the Caribbean such Jamaica Bahamas, Barbados St Lucia, St Kitts Antigua Grenada has all of the aforementioned except of the crime which only Barbados and Antigua has under control so far

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