By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
A US airline has added two non-stop routes to the Family Islands from Orlando this past weekend.
The Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, in a statement, said: “Silver Airways, a major provider of routes between The Bahamas and Florida, is expanding its service with the introduction of two new non-stop flights. On Saturday, 20 May, 2023, the airline launched a direct service from Orlando, Florida, to both North Eleuthera International Airport and Leonard Thompson International Airport in Abaco.
"Tourism officials, John Pinder, parliamentary secretary, and Dr Kenneth Romer, deputy director-general and director of aviation, were present at Abaco's major airport to welcome Silver Airways guests.
“The Orlando to Marsh Harbour flight, with connecting service to North Eleuthera, will be available once a week exclusively on Saturdays. This new addition complements Silver Airways' existing flights from Fort Lauderdale and Tampa to the Abacos. Notably, after a break in service due to the pandemic, on 7 January. 2023, the airline resumed its non-stop service from Tampa to the Abacos, signalling its commitment to The Bahamas," the ministry added.
Mr Pinder said: ‘Silver Airways has recognised the increasing demand for travel to Abaco, and has subsequently added a new Orlando-Abaco route to their schedule. This route will present a significant opportunity for both leisure and business travellers.
"Orlando is an important hub with over 50m passengers a year from over 100 destinations. The Abaco market is back, and our partners acknowledge the opportunities to expand their businesses. I welcome a continued, prosperous partnership."
The Ministry of Tourism said Silver Airways is offering a special one-way fare, starting as low as $89, for travellers who book their flights by May 31 for travel to either destination between May 20 and August 12, 2023.
Dr Romer said: "The Bahamas continues to improve its overall market positioning as the regional leader in foreign air and sea arrivals. One of our key organisational priorities is to significantly increase year-over-year stopover airlift beyond the 2019 historic pre-pandemic levels throughout all the islands of The Bahamas.
"This inaugural Silver Airways Orlando to Abaco service is even more significant, as it demonstrates our resolve to supporting this island after the dual devastations of Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Abaco’s airlift recovery has now remarkably surpassed 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels, and through our commitment to increasing airlift while simultaneously improving the state of airport infrastructure, we expect to further position Abaco on its aggressive pathway to full recovery."
DillyTree 1 week, 5 days ago
Let's hope these flights are plagued with the same lousy service, delays and cancellations as previous Silver flights. The MCO routes will offer some new markets for tourism, as well as vacation options for Bahamians.
Will domestic flights between Marsh Harbour and North Eleuthera be allowed? This could be a valuable optiosn for tourists and locals alike for inter-island transport without having to connect in Nassau.
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