ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Tourism Minister John Maginley has hailed Sunday’s arrival of the first plane of low cost carrier WestJet as a platform for growth in airlift out of Canada.
“Our goal is to make sure we can fill more planes. We want this to be sustainable so that we can get regular service into Antigua out of Canada, so it’s a platform for us to grow,” said Maginley.
The twice-weekly service from Toronto, Canada, – running every Wednesday and Sunday – will initially run until April.
Maginley said he hopes to convince the airline to continue running in the summer months and to double its winter schedule to four flights a week by the next winter season.
Richard Bartrem, WestJet’s vice-president communications and community relations, hinted that Maginley’s wish might be compatible with the airline’s growth model.
“WestJet is now at number 99 (total aircraft) and number 100 will arrive in December this year, all the way through to another 36,737’s to arrive between now and 2018 – so there are many more aircraft to come in the future,” said Bartrem.
The introduction of the low cost carrier means a further 7,000 seats will be available into and out of the island between the end of October and April 2013.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)