Virgin Gorda — the tourism mecca of the territory — is set to get a major boost as Puerto Rican airline Tradewind Aviation will now be flying directly to the sister island.
Tradewind Aviation made its inaugural landing at the Virgin Gorda airport on November 16. Works Minister Kye Rymer and Junior Minister for Culture and Tourism Luce Hodge-Smith received the airline’s officials at a recent welcome ceremony.
Honourable Rymer spoke to the history and accomplishments of the airline and how they align with the values and tourism product that Virgin Gorda has to offer.
“Tradewind fits into Virgin Gorda because Virgin Gorda is that VIP destination that we all talk about and it has the pristine beaches. Tradewind fits right into that, especially with the lounge that you have in San Juan and the class of plane that you have, and we welcome that,” Minister Rymer stated.
He added: “Tradewind also has been ranked number three as the best airline in the USA for the past three years and that is something that you should be proud about, and we are proud about that, knowing that you would bring that level of service to our beautiful Virgin Islands. We congratulate you for such an honour knowing that you are a small aircraft, you are a small company but you are ranked among the best with the service that you provide.”
Managing Director of the BVI Tourist Board Clive McCoy said the event signalled the continuation of a new era of connectivity and growth for Virgin Gorda.
“With the arrival of Tradewind Aviation, we are not only opening up the skies above us, but we are also opening up countless opportunities for tourism and cultural exchange,” McCoy said.
The Managing Director thanked the management of Tradewind Aviation for their unwavering commitment to providing exceptional service and for choosing Virgin Gorda as one of their destinations. “Their vision and dedication has made it possible for us to gather here today and embark on this exciting journey together,” he added.
Meanwhile, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tradewind Aviation Eric Zipkin said it was an honour to be a part of the momentous occasion for his company and the territory.
Despite criticism, the Dr Natalio Wheatley administration continues to make moves to improve airlift to the territory — something which has been promised but never delivered by successive administrations in the territory.
In June, the government brokered a historic deal with American Airlines which has resulted in direct flights from the United States to the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island.
The flights represent the first in the BVI since the 1980s. The Wheatley administration is also making moves to expand the Beef Island airport, another promise which has not been fulfilled by past administrations.
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