Barbados, Panama on Verge of Air Link

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Barbados and Panama are “on the verge” of cementing air links between the two countries, according to Industry Minister Denis Kellman.

Kellman was speaking at the official opening ceremony of Barbados’ trade mission in Panama.

The Minister said officials had reached this stage after the successful conclusion of talks for an Air Services Agreement and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Air Services during negotiations in July.

“[Panamanian carrier] COPA is seen as an ideal partner for Barbados as an airline, and Panama as a destination in view of several factors,” Kellman said.

He pointed to Panama’s population of 336,000 people, and COPA’s network, which would allow expanded access for tourist arrivals from throughout Central and South America.

He also said Barbados could serve as a natural hub for travel to the UK.

“While a direct flight from Barbados to Panama would be five hours, travelers from Panama would benefit from the Visa Abolition Agreement existing between the two coutries — which would make travel far more convenient than the challenges of passing through Miami International Airport,” he said.

Kellman said several initiatives were under consideration as part of increased trade and economic ties between the two countries, including making Panama City and Bridgetown twin cities, as well as the establishment of “Friends of Barbados” and “Friends of Panama” chapters in the two countries.

In August, COPA opened a new flight to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

–Barbados Information Service