A high powered delegation that included a senior Caribbean politician, business bosses and tourism chiefs flew into Manchester Airport on a new airline service to forge stronger business links between Manchester and Trinidad and Barbados.
Delegates attended the inaugural launch party of the new Manchester/Barbados/Trinidad twice-weekly scheduled service by BWIA West Indies Airways held at the airport`s Radisson SAS Hotel. The airline expects its new direct service between Manchester and Barbados and Trinidad to strengthen ties between the two regions, through both its industrial and tourism markets.
The 13-strong delegation were welcomed to Manchester Airport by its
Managing Director, John Spooner; Peter Iland, BWIA West Indies Airways` Director Sales and Marketing UK/Europe; and the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Roy Walters.
The Caribbean delegation included Kenneth Valley, Trinidad and Tobago
Minister of Trade; David S. Chaney, Chief Executive of Emerson Process
Management, Trinidad; Pamela Laurie, Merchandise Manager of Duty Free Caribbean; Dr Carla Noel, Vice-President at the Department of Tourism in Trinidad and Tobago; Terry Vanterpool-Fox, Barbados Tourism Authority, Winston Borrell, Vice-President of Trinidad Hotels and Restaurants; Carl Francis, Vice-President of Trade at the Tourism and Industrial Development Company Ltd, Trinidad; and Wayne Mose, vice president of South Trinidad Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
Trade Minister Mr Valley said: “This venture holds much promise for
developing links between the Caribbean region and Europe since Manchester
has not only emerged as an excellent commercial and industrial base but
also provides crucial airlinks to the hinterlands of Europe. We are very pleased with the BWIA inititative to open up the commercial and tourism markets between Manchester and Trinidad and Tobago.
“Trinidad and Tobago has opted to create its own hinterlands to provide
market space for our manufacturers and attractiveness as a location for
inward investment and as a tourist destination. We sit on the doorstep of South America and this offers a great opportunity to create trade links for businesses in Manchester and the rest of the region. Our objective is to establish Trinidad and Tobago as a major manufacturing platform, a trans-shipment hub and the business and financial centre of the region.”
Airport Managing Director John Spooner said the airport was proud to be playing its part in helping to build trade links between the Caribbean and the North West with the arrival of BWIA at Manchester Airport. As a major employer and economic regenerator in the region, the airport realises the value of strong commercial links between the industrial heartlands of the North West and Trinidad .
BWIA`s Mr Iland said the new scheduled service had got off to a good start but its success would be built on a mix of business and leisure travellers. ” He added: “We are building Trinidad and Barbados into hubs and are creating new routes into second cities in South America. This will be of interest to businesses in the Manchester area wishing to explore new business ventures in that region.”
BWIA West Indies Airways has recently created a new route into Suriname and has plans for the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.
Clint Williams, BWIA Director of Corporate Communications, said: “BWIA is
very excited to be here as we see that Manchester has a significant future
in selling this part of the region. Our presence here at Manchester Airport will signal to the Caribbean community in the catchment area that there is a serious link between Manchester and the lucrative market of the Caribbean.”
Terry Vanterpool-Fox, Barbados Tourism Authority, said: “This airline route
is something we have needed for a while as it will enable us to link into
both the Scottish and Irish markets. I see no problem getting seats filled
on these flights as we are looking to both the business and leisure
markets. Manchester is located in the heart of the UK and geographically well positioned to make this new airline route a success.”
David S. Chaney, Chief Executive of Emerson Process Management, of San
Fernando, Trinidad, said: “I have come on this trip to find out what is
available in Manchester and what business links can be established between
the city and Trinidad.”
Business people in Manchester welcomed the new BWIA service and its hopes
of building commercial links between the city and the Caribbean.
Carl Hamilton, of Real Deals Travel Limited, said: “This new airline service
is fantastic. Our customers are using it already. I hope it goes from strength to strength.”
Rupert Caesar, Chairman of Trinidad and Tobago Society, said: “Our members
will be using this service because of the sheer convenience in travelling
to the Caribbean from Manchester Airport which is right on their
doorstep. Travelling through London was always an inconvenience.”