ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (eTN) – The resumption of American Airlines service to Grenada should not only be seen as turning point in the island tourism sector but one that will bring tremendous benefits to the agricultural sector.
American Airlines began flying between Miami and Grenada on Sunday, using a Boeing 737 aircraft configured with 16 seats in first class and 132 seats in the main cabin. The new service complements existing flights to Grenada from San Juan, Puerto Rico, offered by American Eagle, the regional affiliate of American Airlines.
In 1999, the airline ceased its operations to Grenada claiming that its was not economically viable but the tough negotiations from the airlift committee led by Michael McIntyre over the past two years resulted in the airline once again putting Grenada on its scheduled for at least the next year.
The service will operate daily, except during spring and fall, when the service will operates five days a week. “This is a turning point for us and it also means that persons will now have access especially out of the Miami gateway,” said Tourism Minister Peter David, who was among passengers making that inaugural flight.
The non-stop flight will depart Miami at 5:20 pm and arrive in Grenada 3 hours later, the plane will overnight and then return to Miami departing at 9:45 am the following morning.
“The addition of this flight will provide a boost to the tourism industry and will make air travel from the US more accessible because it enables anyone in North America to connect to and from the flight in one day,” tourism officials said.
Grenada is one of four Caricom destinations which American is launching new nonstop flights from Miami during the final months of 2008. The other islands are Antigua, Jamaica, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. American is scaling back at each of its other hubs, while expanding only at Miami International Airport, which draws in passengers from all over to fly to Latin America and the Caribbean.
Agricultural officials are of the opinion that the flight presents an opportunity to export agricultural produce from Grenada to the United States market via Florida. “What needs to be done now is for Government and others in the private sector to see that an opportunity presence itself to export our produce and make full use of it,” said Roderick St Clair of the Marketing and National Importing Board.