The Argyle International Airport will welcome the inaugural flight from Air Canada Rouge on Thursday this week.
The Ministry of Tourism said the Air Canada Rouge flight, which is the first scheduled international non-stop flight to the destination, will be met on arrival by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Minister of Tourism, Cecil McKie and CEO of the Tourism Authority, Glen Beache.
The flight is scheduled to arrive at about 3:50pm on Thursday.
The Air Canada Rouge Service from Toronto will operate once weekly during the winter season until April 12th 2018, using an A319 aircraft, with a capacity of one hundred and thirty-six (136) seats.
On May 3rd 2017, Air Canada announced St. Vincent and the Grenadines as one of six new routes for the airline’s winter season.
A release announcing the new routes stated that weekly flights from Toronto to St. Vincent and the Grenadines are available for purchase at aircanada.com and through travel agents.
The SVG route was subsequently launched on October 25th 2017, at an event hosted in Ontario by Air Canada. That event was attended by the country’s Consul General in Canada, Fitz Huggins and Shelley John, the Tourism Authority’s Director of Sales in Canada.
According to the airline, its first long-haul international scheduled service to St. Vincent and the Grenadines “offers new choices for travellers looking to escape Canadian winters.”
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority and Air Canada Vacations have already commenced co-operative marketing with local hotels.
A “call to action” by the SVG Tourism Authority was launched in September. This included a taxi wrap promotion with sixty (60) taxis in Toronto.
Flight promotion with Canada Traffic Network was also undertaken featuring television ads during traffic reports on Global TV Toronto, as well as radio ads on stations in St. Catherine’s and Hamilton, Ontario.
The latest visitor arrival report shows an increase of 10.4% in stay-over visitor arrivals from Canada for the period January to September 2017, accounting for 5,997 visitors up from 5,433 in 2016.
Tourism has been the main foreign exchange earner and accounts for approximately 20% of the Gross Domestic Product for St. Vincent and the Grenadines; it is expected that the international airport will increase earnings in this sector.
The Argyle International Airport is also expected to increase accessibility to this multi island destination from its major source markets, Canada, the USA and Europe.