Antigua Airways is airborne and ready to become the “pride of the Caribbean”

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Antigua Airways is airborne and ready to become the “pride of the Caribbean”

Over the years the Caribbean region has experienced unsatisfactory air connectivity, with the islanders complaining about high regional ticket costs and limited direct flights to international destinations. However, on November 1, 2022, Antigua Airways connected the region to West Africa with a nonstop flight between Nigeria and Antigua.

The history-making Inaugural flight

The inaugural flight was conducted through a charter service operated by EuroAtlantic Airways Boeing 767-300ER. The aircraft departed from Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Nigeria to VC Bird International Airport in Antigua. The flight recorded over 100 passengers who were greeted by Antiguan government officials including the Minister of Tourism and Investment, Charles Fernandez.

A day before the inaugural flight, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne wrote on his Facebook account “they said it could not be done. Once again, they were proven wrong. Antigua Airways lands tomorrow!” The statement was attached to the flight schedule of the new service. Prime Minister Browne was facing backlash and criticisms during the planning stages, but with the success of the first flight his hopes are still high, and a few concerns quenched.

Antigua Airways Outlook

The early plans to create the new airline were met with scepticism and anxiety due to the innate competitiveness and volatility of the airline industry and other factors. The airline is owned jointly by the Antiguan government and a Nigerian printing firm (which explains why Nigeria was chosen as the inaugural destination for the airline). New airlines are free to enter the market, but they face a myriad of limitations that often grounds them. The question is then, what makes Antigua Airways resilient against these limitations?

Firstly, the airline is creating a nonstop air connection between the Caribbean and Africa, a route that is not currently conducted by any of the major airlines or other Caribbean carriers. This means that the airline has full market share, and without competition, they have the space to cement itself in the industry and become what they describe as the “pride of the Caribbean” Secondly, ownership plays a unique role in the carrier’s survival. The carrier is owned primarily by a Nigerian printing firm (approximately 80%) and the reminding 20% belongs to the Antiguan government. Having a private owner means that the carrier has more opportunities to receive financing without burdening the pockets of taxpayers. On the other hand, having government involvement means that during times of economic hardship, the company could receive bailout funds to prevent insolvency

Many criticisms will arise whenever a government bailout is discussed or other forms of government financing–which is expected as bailouts are made possible through taxes. What should be considered is the benefits to tourism and inevitably the economy. If the carrier succeeds, Antigua succeeds. Recent data reveals that tourism accounts for 60% of Antigua’s GDP. With Antigua Airways’ presence, tourism is heading for an increase as the airline is already considering more routes, flying using its livery, expanding and creating employment opportunities.

The airline is optimistic about the future as they steadily prepare documents for licenses required to commence these routes. The executives stated that along with Lagos, Toronto and Accra, Ghana is the other international destination being considered. As with many new airlines, growth is slow and hindrances will appear but going forward with a business plan that aims to connect the Caribbean to Africa and North America, Antigua Airways is filled with potential.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. Wow. Maybe we were all wrong and should mind our own damn business bout nigerian people coming here and nar gweh. Gaston made this investment with you and me in mind for the benefit of our great nation of Antigua founded in 1981 with the capital city of St Johns and those persons therein hereby referred to CHUPID PICKEENEARGAH

    • Glaston Beige, the business affairs of Antigua and Barbuda is our business. So let us delve in. Long term plans should be in place for any business to survive, much less succeed. It cannot be done in an ad Hoc manner. Bringing immigrants in from West Africa and dropping them off without a plan is not smart or wise. A country with little to no resources to take care of its own citizens social security, pension, weekly to monthly compensation and severance should not engage in such shallow minded venture. I start to wonder if the present -soon to be former leader of our country gave this any thought or is there something more nefarious going on. Whatever, the reasoning behind this infamous mistake, it’s time for you to take the walk of shame. You have failed miserably as the leader of our beloved country. The good people of Antigua and Barbuda cannot afford four more years of your failed policies. GALANG GASTON DICTATOR BROWNE.

  2. “On the other hand, having government involvement means that during times of economic hardship, the company could receive bailout funds to prevent insolvency?”

    With what funds?

  3. BRIXTONIAN and His STUPID UTTERANCES. That is the reason for the following.

    Election 2023 results in Antigua / Barbuda 🇦🇬

    ABLP. WIN ALL. 17 SEATS

    UPP. . 00 SEAT ( 12 CANDIDATES LOSE DEPOSITS)

    DNA. 00 SEAT ( ALL THE LOSE DEPOSITS )

    BPM. ….. 00 SEAT

    ASOT MICHAEL. ……. 00 SEAT

    BRIXTONIAN and CHARLES TABOR will run around Antigua as NAKED as They were born. Harold Lovell will be on Blood Pressure medication. All other UPP CANDIDATES will run away from UPP. UPP DONE / FINISHED.

  4. Do we need more Africans who cannot afford accommodations coming here? Can we be done with this failed experiment?

  5. Scammers! Stop perpetuating a fraud. Can’t wait for the FAA audit and for the FBI to frogmarch the lot of you out of Antigua. #NextLevelScam

  6. Antigua Airways me backside, even the name they stick on the dam plane drop off in the Atlantic Ocean.
    So Shut the hell Up.

  7. Eight more days of agony for the UPP and their supporters. It will soon be over guys and girls. I feel your pain. Labour Party causes you guys and girls to have labour pain.

    • @From The Sideline aka Mr. Arrogant Condescending…Mami_Wata would like you to know,

      …it’s a thin line between love and hate.
      …so, make no mistake
      …there’s a possibility after that #date
      …ABLP will lose, because the Electorate
      …now realizes what’s at stake
      …there’s a thin line, between #confidence and #arrogance
      …and, therein lies #IGNORANCE!
      …therefore, wait until the Fat Man Sing
      …’cause, IT’S ASOT for The WIND
      …so, while you’re going your #Gorilla_Dance
      …like, #Burna_Boy’s got you in a tranced
      …wait until the Election is done!
      …for, there’s the possibility
      …even if, it seems slightly
      …the Electorate would’ve gotten rid of ABLP
      …and, you the #Arrogant_Condescending one
      …will be running around the Town
      …as naked, as you were born
      ..,therefore, when you throw your corn
      …not everyone’s gonna eat
      …So, you better #BEWARE
      …open your eyes and ears
      …because, ABLP is heading for a defeat!
      …now here comes, the real #gnashing of teeth.”
      …and like confetti, the false ones will be
      all over the streets.

      Ras Smood aka Jumbee Picknee
      De ‘ole Dutty Peg Foot Bastard

      Vere Cornwall Edwards

    • @From The Sideline aka Mr. Arrogant Condescending…Mami_Wata would like you to know,

      …it’s a thin line between love and hate.
      …so, make no mistake
      …there’s a possibility after that #date
      …ABLP will lose, because the Electorate
      …now realizes what’s at stake
      …there’s a thin line, between #confidence and #arrogance
      …and, therein lies #IGNORANCE!
      …therefore, wait until the Fat Man Sing
      …’cause, IT’S ASOT for The WIND
      …so, while you’re going your #Gorilla_Dance
      …like, #Burna_Boy’s got you in a tranced
      …wait until the Election is done!
      …for, there’s the possibility
      …even if, it seems slightly
      …the Electorate would’ve gotten rid of ABLP
      …and, you the #Arrogant_Condescending one
      …will be running around the Town
      …as naked, as you were born
      ..,therefore, when you throw your corn
      …not everyone’s gonna eat
      …So, you better #BEWARE
      …open your eyes and ears
      …because, ABLP is heading for a defeat!
      …now here comes, the real #gnashing of teeth.”
      …and like confetti, the false ones will be
      all over the streets.
      …then you’ll be in pain
      …like childbirths, labour-pain
      …jumping and jamming in the nude
      …like you’re #Insane! #Insane! #Insane.
      …for, ABLP has being denuded!
      …and will be laid to rest, at the Cemetery of Lady Nugent!

      Ras Smood aka Jumbee Picknee
      De ‘ole Dutty Peg Foot Bastard

      Vere Cornwall Edwards

  8. First, Antigua would get 20% of profits, then Antigua government wasn’t a shareholder. If you people think Antigua can bail you out, you can wait. Nobody told you Antigua broke?
    If you are waiting on bailout funds from Antigua, you done bankrupt.

  9. Our visionary Gaston Browne is always steps ahead above the rest. Now you hear all the other Caricom countries announcing how they are trying to tap into the African destination and start airlifts. Antigua and Barbuda is the first to have established that. And now you see a new tourist type of tourist walking on the street. When I see them walking in groups of five, six and larger I laugh and thank God for our visionary Prime Minister. The thing is I can relate to this new type of tourist. When I go to Europe or the USA or Canada, you know I do not go to touristic places. You can find me in the mall and restaurants and other places where the regular tourist doesn’t go. I like to be amongst the people of that country and eat the food they eat and drink the drinks they drink. On my last visit to one of the European countries I walked the streets of that town, I rode on the buses, trains, and subways. Just as the locals there do. I ate in the little neighbourhood restaurants and stayed in the Airbnb in a little neighbourhood. And I tell you the people were very helpful to me and my wife and made us feel at home. They couldn’t believe I had come from so far and stayed in a place that is not known by tourists. But that is what Airbnb has opened up. These Africans should be offered these types of accommodations. And some of us need to open our homes and receive them. We will make some earnings from it. Not only the big hotels should profit from our tourism. But it also tells me that we were not ready for them as yet. But it’s not too late. If you have a spare room in your house and can accommodate one or two guests, please do not hesitate to go to the Ministry of Tourism to register your property. It is quite safe to receive guests that don’t mind staying with a local family. It’s quite a unique experience for them. Barbadians have been doing this long time. Especially for students that come to study in Barbados.

    • From the Sideline, stop playing. We don’t have welfare of food stamps or unemployment in Antigua. Tell me, you and Gaston going to feed them and give them shelter. I don’t know who you are but you probably feeling the urge inflation like the rest of us and Gaston not in the business of giving, only receiving. While you’re here defending Gaston, he planning his next level of corruption and deception.

      • You guys are so weak in debating on issues that you always resort to baseless accusations of corruption. Stay on topic for once and respond to my comments properly. Any tourist that can pay over US$5000 for a return ticket is not a poor person. Our tourists coming from North America and Europe are paying less and some pay that inclusive of hotel, food, and drink. Our African tourist certainly do not come here for sun sea and sand. Like our Caucasian tourists.

    • So true, what I find disturbing is all the negativity as every African tourist is hand to mouth uneducated and are scammers. Let me say I am reminded of how many Caribbean national who were hungry and dirt poor migrated to the UK. It seems Antiguans have no problem with broke white tourist. As a Bajan I have visited Ghana and let me tell the many uninformed African tourist are big spenders when they travel.

  10. Anyone who is supporting this mistake must be feeding from the red coolaid trough. This is not an airline. They are chartered flights that is costing someone some serious coins. Gaston Browne has not the capability to make any business venture work. There is no record anywhere of him running a successful business and this is evident by the incessant borrowings to try to balance things. God alone knows how deeply in debt we are.
    This, like the 30 failed projects, is doomed to fail.

  11. Just if these sick people criticizing the venture could be reasonable, they will see the benefits.
    You are so worried because the airline is connected to the greatest continent, Africa.
    If the deal was linked to a Canadian, American, British or someone else, they will applaud it.
    Sick minds wasting so much vim and vigor on trivial things instead of on developing Antigua.
    It is a shame Wake up Antigua.

  12. I am shocked at the disgracefully prejudice remarks of my own people.
    You love to kiss up to your old colonizers that if they wanted to create a similar partnership with Antigua, you’d applaud it. But your small mindedness and ignorance prevents you from seeing the reality. The riches and wealthiest black people on the globe are living in Africa.
    Open your brains and educate yourselves

    Kudos to @King Mike for trying to enlighten you about Africa

Comments are closed.