Monday, September 3, 2018
Monday, September 3, 2018
Nassau Airport Development Co (NAD), the management company responsible for Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA), today reported the busiest summer in the nation’s history for the Bahamas’ leading airport.
According to NAD chief executive officer Vernice Walkine, a combination of factors contributed to the strong performance.
Among them, powerful marketing campaigns, deepening partnerships with airlines and a nearly 30 per cent increase in arrivals from Canada through July.
“Nearly every major airline that serves The Bahamas market has increased its capacity, thanks in part to deepening marketing partnerships and renewed interest in New Providence as a result of the opening of the final phase of Baha Mar and unprecedented levels of marketing by Atlantis Paradise Island, Baha Mar, Sandals, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board,” said Walkine.
NAD reported an overall increase of 6.2 per cent in passengers for the fiscal year ending June 30 with results for July even stronger, up 7 per cent over the previous year and August projecting similar results.
Between February and June, five airlines added flights or switched to planes with greater capacity to serve LPIA.
In March, Southwest added a second Ft Lauderdale flight. Delta upgraded its Atlanta flights adding 50 seats a day for the peak winter season and added a second flight from New York’s JFK on Saturdays.
American Airlines added 40 seats to its service from Charlotte, NC, WestJet added 32 per cent more Toronto frequencies during Canada’s cold winter months and United upped its flights from Newark airport by 50 per cent in March. Those increases netted a record month in March with nearly 182,300 passengers arriving in Nassau.
“As impressive as those figures are, we are even more excited about the positive outlook for the remainder of 2018 and into 2019,” said Walkine.
“The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board plan to further expand their marketing spend to increase passenger traffic. Industry partners including the promotion boards, hotels and Tourism are doing a beautiful job of showing what The Bahamas has to offer and the airlines are responding with increased capacity to handle the growth.”
Starting in July and through December 2018, Delta, JetBlue, United, Copa and American all increased or will increase the number of flights from popular destinations with American adding a new Chicago non-stop on Saturdays, implementing year-round service from New York’s La Guardia and offering weekend service from Dallas as well as adding a third daily flight from its Charlotte hub.
Those additional flights and seats are expected to generate as much as 21 per cent growth in seats for a normally softer month like October and close to 15 per cent overall for the next six months.
For NAD, it is not just about numbers.
“We want to ensure the best possible customer experience and toward that end, we are constantly focused on customer service training,” said Walkine.
“For stay-over visitors, LPIA is the first and the last impression they have of The Bahamas and it is up to us to make that impression a positive one.”
In March, LPIA earned third place honours when the Airports Council International announced its Best Airports in the Latin America and Caribbean region. More than 600,000 passengers throughout the region participated in the ranking process.
More than 3.3 million passengers have passed through LPIA in 2017 with the airport serving 55 destinations via 24 airlines.