Ministry of Tourism
Monday, May 30, 2016
Monday, May 30, 2016
Fort Lauderdale-based airline Silver Airways made its inaugural flight from Tampa, Florida to New Providence Thursday adding 25,000 new seats to The Bahamas.
Silver Airways will provide flights from Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, Florida to New Providence.
“Today’s activities are significant in that the new routes allow a wide range of travelers from these key markets in Florida to easily access the City of Nassau and experience our Bahamian hospitality,” said Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) CEO Vernice Walkine in the Diplomat Lounge at the Lynden Pindling International Airport.
Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe thanked Silver Airways CEO Sami Teittinen for his faith and commitment to The Bahamas.
“Silver Airways now covers more than 43 percent of the business to our country, particularly our Family Islands,” Wilchcombe said.
The tourism minister said Silver Airlines’ focus on key Florida markets where The Bahamas has not had direct flights “tells us that you understand what we are trying to do”.
“You can’t have a low hanging fruit like Florida sitting right next door with all the business, more than 80 million passing through on a yearly basis, and we are not benefiting even more,” he said.
“Last year more than 1.1 billion visitors travelled around the world. So we want more of that business.”
“We really are undergoing a renaissance in our aviation sector,” said Walkine.
“Even right now as I speak, several airports are currently under or about to undergo development and it is going to create a great stimulus for aviation connectivity to these communities.”
She said some 3.2 million visitors moved through LPIA in 2015.
Silver Airways CEO Sami Teittinen said service into New Providence is only the first step.
“Our plans at Silver is not to become smaller [but] larger,” he said.
“Our most loyal employees and most polite customer service oriented employees hands down are in The Bahamas.”
Silver Airways currently services five islands in The Bahamas.
(Photos courtesy Ministry of Tourism)