‘Antigua Airways’ expected to start operations in October

Tourism Minister Charles Max Fernandez

A new airline, Antigua Airways, linking the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda directly to West Africa, is expected to begin flights in mid-October.

Formal agreement for the setting up of the airline was signed recently at the office of the Prime Minister between the government of Antigua and Barbuda and Nigerian publishing and printing firm, Marvelous Mike Press Limited

Cabinet notes reported that the carrier would be financed by Africans wishing to open the new route between the African continent and the Eastern Caribbean.

Tourism Minister Charles Max Fernandez who witnessed the signing of the agreement, said the third week in October is the tentative date for the first flight.

He also said there may be about three flights per week.

Fernandez noted the flights will not only be beneficial to Antigua and Barbuda but the wider Caribbean.

He noted that persons coming from Nigeria, “apart from just spending a week or two in Antigua, they will be able to spend a few days in Antigua, a few days in Dominica, come back to Antigua, catch a flight and go out or spend a couple days in one of the other islands.”

Cabinet notes has alluded to a possible collaboration with regional airline LIAT, which is set to be restructured.

Minister Fernandez also spoke of possible benefits if the entities did indeed join forces.

“Linkage between LIAT and the new airline will be very, very important…it also opens the door for investment,” he said.

The Nigerian investors will finance the operations of Antigua Airways while the government of Antigua and Barbuda will receive 20 per cent of the profits