Discussions are now going on for a return of Air Canada’s summer flights to St Vincent and the Grenadines
Tourism interests in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) have been wooing Air Canada to return to the Eastern Caribbean territory, after it pulled out for the summer.
The CEO of SVG Tourism Authority, Glen Beache met recently with the management of Air Canada discussing the airline’s possible return. Beach, speaking at a press conference in the capital Kingstown this week, sought to give an explanation as to why Air Canada has pulled out, stating that from the meeting it was understood that the pull out is not the fault of Air Canada or SVG.
“Last year, I think it was the Canadian government that changed some of the laws and rules with regard to flight time for crew members, which they shortened it,” said Beache.
“As a matter of fact, from Toronto, they can go up to Antigua and Barbuda; that’s where they can go without having to overnight their crew members. So Antigua has kept their flights, but places like SVG, which had two flights weekly, it has been very difficult, and in a time like this where all the airlines around the world are facing a shortage of pilots internationally, it amplifies the issue.”
FIXING THE PROBLEM
He said the situation is hard, noting that during their conversation with Air Canada, SVG suggested a way to fix the problem with flights to the island, saying: “I’m not going to go into the solution here because Air Canada has promised to get back to us by Friday of this week in terms of what their answer is. They understand our concerns, especially at a time when Canada is our fastest-growing source market. For us not to get those flights out of Toronto at least twice weekly for the summer will hit us hard, and they actually apologise for it.”
Beache stated that, during his conversation with Air Canada officials, he told them that if SVG does not receive those flights back, they would appreciate an explanation from the airline.