St. John’s, Antigua - Sunwing Airlines inaugural flight to Antigua and Barbuda from Montreal was greeted with a spectacular water cannon salute, the sounds of steelband and performances by cultural dancers, as the impressive Antigua and Barbuda branded Sunwing boeing 737-800 touched down at the V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua on November 26, 2017.
The Sunwing Montreal to Antigua seasonal non-stop flight scheduled weekly on Sundays will complement the two flights per week from Toronto to Antigua that started on November 10, 2017.
Sunwing Officials and the 164 passengers on the flight were received by Minister of Tourism, Foreign Affairs and Immigration, The Honourable Charles Fernandez, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James, Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority, Rolston Potter, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority, Stanley Smith and other tourism and aviation officials.
During a welcome reception held within the VIP Lounge, the Tourism Minister said he was delighted that the new direct service from Montreal will further add to the convenience for Canadians, particularly from the eastern provinces, to easily enjoy Antigua and Barbuda’s world-class beaches, resorts and cultural attractions.
"Airlift is integral to the success of our aggressive and strategic investment plan for the tourism product and industry in the country. This weekly service by the Sunwing Travel Group will be an important connection to get our visitors quickly from both Quebec and Ontario, Canada into our islands."
Susan Oland, Director, Partnerships and Tour Operations at Sunwing Travel Group indicated that, "On behalf of Sunwing, we are thrilled to be a part of the inaugural flight coming directly from Montreal, Canada, and we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with the country."
Montreal is Antigua’s second largest travel market in Canada. Tourism officials have indicated that Canada will be a market to watch for Antigua and Barbuda tourism in 2018, with the additional airlift from the Canadian market expected to grow Canadian visitor arrivals to the destination by a significant amount. Arrivals from Canada reported as of October 2017, stood at 16,224 which currently makes Canada, Antigua and Barbuda’s fourth largest source market.
"The Sunwing Montreal-Antigua route has significant potential for Antigua as Quebecers have had a longstanding affinity for Antigua’s beaches and all-inclusive family friendly hotels" said Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Director of Tourism for Canada, Colin Skerritt.
The Antigua and Barbuda branded Sunwing aircraft will operate in various Sunwing destinations, promoting the beauty of the country internationally.
Minister Fernandez expressed his thanks to the former tourism minister, and the tourism and aviation team members who worked to make the service a reality.