Johnson: Current flight services from Canada sufficient
As another Canadian airline has been granted access to offer flights to The Bahamas, Director General of Tourism David Johnson said adding additional air services from Canada isn’t a good fit for the country at the moment.
Johnson told Guardian Business yesterday that the current flights to and from Canada are sufficient for the country, adding more routes isn’t on the top of the agenda.
“For now we have two airlines that offer flights from Toronto to Nassau, which are Air Canada and WestJet Airlines,”he said.”That route is fairly well-served and we don’t wish to encourage more traffic than it would actually demand.”
Johnson’s comments come after Canadian-based airline Canjet was granted a designation by its government to serve The Bahamas along with Cuba and Jamaica. The move was made possible under the Open Skies Agreement, which allows airlines to seek new countries to travel to that fall under the legislation.
While the local tourism ministry may not see the immediate benefits of adding more flights, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in Canada Chuck Strahl said it would be a good move to add more routes.
“These designations will provide additional flight choices for consumers travelling between Canada and these three sun destinations,”Strahl said.”They also contribute to the growth of the Canadian air industry, providing economic benefits to Canadian airports, as well as the Canadian tourism and business sectors.”
Johnson said Canjet hasn’t made any formal attempt to partner with the country, but he said he understands the reasoning behind pursuing The Bahamas as a destination.
“Being designated means they have the rights to serve The Bahamas, but they haven’t filed an application to serve us,”he said. The haven’t done anything official… they are acquiring authority and as they grow as an airline they can seek out destinations.”
Press Secretary for Minister Strahl, John Babcock, told Guardian Business yesterday that he understands why Canadian airlines wants to offer flights to The Bahamas, as they probably view the country as a appealing destination.
“I know a lot of Canadians want to go to this area because of the warm climate, especially during this time of the year,”Babcock said.”But the choice is really up to those airlines,(in terms of) whether or not they want to provide service into The Bahamas.”
Last September Air Transat was the last airline scoping out The Bahamas, while officials were optimistic at the time that it would eventually be offering services, but discussions haven’t resulted in significant progress, according to Johnson.
“We still are in contact with Air Transat about flights to Toronto to Nassau, but that route is already well-served,”he pointed out.