MAKING IT OFFICIAL: Minister of Tourism and International Transport Kerrie Symmonds (centre), along with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s CEO William “Billy” Griffith (second left), cutting the ribbon at Gate 1 of Tocumen International Airport on Tuesday morning to ceremonially launch the historic flight. They were assisted by Pablo de la Guardia (second right), a senior executive of Copa Airlines, and Captain Robert Katz, of Panama’s Civil Aviation Authority. Looking on at left is Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Donna Cadogan. (Picture by Bryan Walker.)
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GOVERNMENT is already looking to expand the arrangement with Copa Airlines to capitalise on the Latin and South American markets, as well as more destinations in the United States.
With the ink barely dry on the direct flights arrangement from Panama that was inaugurated on Tuesday, Minister of Tourism and International Transport Kerrie Symmonds said Barbados was in talks with Copa’s management to move from twice weekly flights to four in the near future, as the load factor for the next few months was in excess of 90 per cent, both ways.
He was speaking in an interview at the Panama Hilton, Panama City, on the eve of the historic Flight CM 260 to Barbados, which was captained by Barbadian Marc Holford, and returned home by his countryman Captain Chetwyn Clarke.
“Copa is interested in having an entity like Barbados work with them towards moving people from the Eastern Caribbean, because there is a lot of heritage linkage. St Lucia, St Vincent, Dominica, all would have had people who went to the Panama Canal and worked there, and also in terms of business traffic.” (BW)
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