Cat Island to get direct airlift boost

Cat Island to get direct airlift boost
Western Air jets. (FILE)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Cat Island will soon benefit from direct daily flights from a Bahamian and a US based airline, with one local resort operator yesterday citing airlift as the number one challenge impeding the island’s tourism sector’s growth.

Ricardo Wilson, Western Air’s general manager while addressing the Cat Island Business Outlook conference yesterday, “We are proud to one again introduce daily flights to Cat Island effective June 1.”  Wilson explained that the service is due to demand for additional airlift, with many visitors seeking direct access to the island without having to connect through Nassau.

Wilson said that the airline is seeking stakeholder input on which days would be preferable for twice daily service. 

According to Wilson, the airline is looking to invest in a robust multi-solution fleet to cover various destinations. “I think the work is underway now to maybe acquire smaller aircraft in some cases because we want to be able to go back to when we covered most family islands and did it twice daily.”

He continued, “I think at some point  within the next five years we will go back to those days. Of course we want to continue to build our international routes. We are servicing  Fort Lauderdale  from Nassau and it is anticipated that in  short order our brand new terminal will be built in Grand Bahama Once that is done there will be flights from Grand Bahama to Fort Lauderdale.”

Sarah Swainson, Director of New Business for the Fort Launderdale-based Makers Air noted that the airline has received approval by Bahamian authorities to offer services in The Bahamas and is presently awaiting the green light from the US Department of Transportation.

Carl Rolle, owner of Rollezz Villas Beach Resort cited airlift as the main challenge impeding the island’s tourism segment. 

“Airlift is the number one challenge. The proof is in the pudding.People  will communicate with me and say I can not get into Cat Island and don’t want to overnight in Nassau.”