Business

Western Air will begin US routes to Abaco in 2022 

Western Air plans to begin US routes to Abaco by the second quarter of 2022, the company’s Vice President of Operations and General Counsel Sherrexcia “Rexy” Rolle said yesterday.

Rolle, who made the announcement at the Abaco Business Outlook yesterday, said the company is now licensed to fly between The Bahamas and the US and will begin routes to Marsh Harbour from Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach next year. She said the airline is looking forward to incorporating the direct routes into its itinerary.

Abaco is beginning to bounce back from Hurricane Dorian in terms of visitor numbers, prompting Silver Airways to add a fourth flight to its current three-per-week schedule into Marsh Harbour, according to the airline’s Senior Manager of Alliances and Business Development Katie Loughlin, who also participated in the Abaco Business Outlook. She said the fourth round-trip flight will be added in November to satisfy the demand that is expected for the winter season.

She added that forward bookings are beginning to trend upward.

“Advanced bookings from next year are showing good signs of a return to normalcy,” said Loughlin.

“It suggests that people are feeling a bit more comfortable with international travel and the customers are making reservations further in advance, which is a really good sign for us to see.

“Our goal and expectation is for us to return to nearly daily services to Abaco by the end of quarter two in 2022.”

She said the airline also hopes to one day return to Treasure Cay’s airport, which was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian.

Managing Director of Bahamasair Tracy Cooper, who also spoke at the Outlook, said the airline will have 15 flights per week from Nassau in to Abaco for the winter season and four flights per week from West Palm Beach into Abaco, starting on November 14 or 15.

He said Abaco was a huge revenue earner for the airline before Hurricane Dorian struck the island two years ago.

“It is our intent that we will fulfill Abaco’s needs,” Cooper said.

“Before Dorian, Abaco was the number two destination revenue-wise for the airline, so it’s nothing we’re going to turn our backs on.”

Both Cooper and Rolle said there has been no material increase in Bahamians traveling to the Family Islands since the government removed the cost of the travel health visa.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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