by Linda Straker
- Maurice Bishop International Airport re-opens for regional low-risk countries on 15 July
- interCaribbean Airways will be servicing Grenada
- Aviation authorities in negotiation with St Vincent and the Grenadines based One Caribbean
Tourism Minister, Clarice Modeste, has confirmed that the Turks and Caicos based interCaribbean Airways is one of 3 commercial airlines that will be servicing Grenada when the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) re-opens for regional low-risk countries on 15 July 2020.
“We have agreed. We have approved interCaribbean Airways which has a fleet of planes to provide its service to Grenada from different destinations in the region. Very shortly we will make a formal announcement.” Modeste disclosed that aviation authorities in Grenada are also in negotiation with St Vincent and the Grenadines based One Caribbean, while with Trinidad based Caribbean Airlines, it is just a matter of resuming its services.
Grenada’s lone international airport has been closed to commercial passenger traffic since late March after the island declared a state of emergency to control the spread of Covid-19. Since then, government has slowly phased into a state of normality with weekly opening of businesses.
Grenada has no Covid-19 cases since 24 May, and on 7 July government announced through a statement from the Government Information Service (GIS), that as of 15 July the airport will reopen for flights from low-risk Caribbean countries, while medium-risk arrivals will be from 1 August. “The reopening process takes into consideration the health risks possibly posed by passengers coming from different regions of the world. Countries will be categorised as Low, Medium or High-risk, for the purposes of entry requirements to Grenada.”
“From July 15th, 2020, the airport will accept commercial flights from countries across the Caribbean region viewed as Low-risk. From August 1st, the airport will accept international flights, from countries listed as Medium-risk, such as Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries in the European Union. Only chartered flights will be accommodated from all other countries not mentioned, until further notice.”
“Grenadian nationals and visitors wishing to charter a flight from any country, in the interim, must do so through a private entity. Government has accepted a proposal from Caribbean International Trade Inc., to manage all the logistics of this engagement, including the verification of the health and testing requirements, and quarantine accommodations.”
Founded by Lyndon Gardiner, interCaribbean Airways, the regional airline out of the Turks and Caicos Islands services mainly the northern Caribbean islands. For decades, the interCaribbean brand has been a major player in air travel, in markets such as the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bahamas, Dominica, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Antigua, St Lucia, Turks and Caicos and Cuba.
The company is on the verge of expanding into new markets with the Eastern Caribbean as one of its focus. In a recent interview, company founder and chairman, Lyndon Gardiner said, “We are a regional carrier that has worked on our model of connecting the entire Caribbean for over 28 years. This is a unique opportunity that we will embrace to showcase that we are indeed a Pan-Caribbean airline.”
Commenting on being able to fill any potential void left by LIAT, Gardiner said that his company isn’t here to cripple, but to compete, and take advantages of the opportunities as they are presented. “As a Caribbean owned and grown entity, we will extend our services to the LIAT network cities, and do so with pride, to ensure the safe, economic and efficient movement of our peoples continue without Interruptions.”