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General News of Saturday, 2 February 2008

Source: Carribean Times

GIA creates history ....

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: Barbados turned over a new chapter in its aviation history following the historic arrival of a Ghanaian International Airlines commercial jet, which touched down at Grantley Adams International Airport on Friday.

The charter flight B757-200, carrying 160 passengers, departed Accra, Ghana, West Africa on February 1, which included a fuel stop in Sierra Leone, and continued en route to Barbados.

Speaking on Friday at a Press Conference, Barbados’ Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, said that the historic flight will open a gateway of opportunities for Barbados.

“Barbadians share many cultural and historic similarities with many Africans, particularly those in the Western part of the continent. Given these similarities, Barbados as a destination would be able to capitalize on this opportunity and appeal to the heritage and cultural niche market segments in Ghana and Nigeria.

Similar comments were echoed by Stuart Layne, President and CEO of the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA), who expressed delight at the flight, which coincided with the start of Black history month.

“We are delighted that we finally made a breakthrough into the African market. The BTA has pledged its support to Remac Limited to access this market.”

Barbados, the most easterly island in the Caribbean island, is the closest country to Africa in the region.

The Ghana charter, which may become a regular service to the island, will make its return journey on February 15, 2008.

Of the 160 passengers on board, 40 were expected to proceed to St Lucia and Trinidad.

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