Above: Antigua (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Canadian carrier WestJet will be extending its flying schedule into Antigua and Barbuda, the airline announced this week.
Service will be extended through Oct. 26. The company first added its Antigua service in late October 2012, flying twice weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays from Toronto.
WestJet’s summer schedule will begin May 4 and end Oct. 26, although the summer service will see only one flight per week on Saturdays.
“Greater accessibility to the destination has proven to be beneficial for Canadian travelers, and the market has responded positively, with WestJet seeing heavy load factors since the inception of the service in October 2012,” said Antigua Tourism Minister John Maginley. “Reduced fare options from Canada during the summer is a welcome strategy that will encourage more visitors during the traditionally slower months, and will be advantageous to all stakeholders, as well as events happening on-island during that time.”
Antigua saw an 8 percent increase in 2012 in the number of Canadian tourists who visited the country by air.
“Over the years we have seen the airlift out of the Canadian market increase, and with this, we have seen a direct correlation with growth from the market, which indicates continued interest in the destination from Canadian travelers,” said Colin James, CEO of the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority. “We plan to capitalize on this.”
The summer service will bring an additional 4,382 seats to Antigua from Toronto, after bringing 7,200 seats during the 2012/2013 winter season.