CASTRIES, St Lucia – Barbados based carrier, Trans Island Air 2000 (TIA), has commenced service from St Lucia to Grenada, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica.

This was announced by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet who told reporters earlier this week that Martinique will also benefit from the service.

“Obviously that is a very important initiative given the cost of travel and the level of  complaints and even for my delegation to have gone to Grenada would have taken us eight hours, so we are now able to leave and go non-stop to Grenada and be there is 22 minutes,” said Chastanet, a former Tourism Minister and Minister of Civil Aviation.

TIA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bruce Kauffman said the airline, is committed to working in the interest of Caribbean aviation.

“To other carriers in the region, we say that we are entirely focused on our mission. It is our intention to exemplify the new buzz phrase in the lexicon of Caribbean aviation company ‘competition through co-operation.’ In the context of Caribbean aviation, we recognise the adage, ‘the high tide lifts all boats’. It is a defining truism,” he said.

The CEO said travellers can reserve flights online through a “state-of-the-art reservation system” or in person through contracted travel agents. There is also the option of reservations directly with the TIA reservations office.

The carrier offers scheduled flights but also has a private charter option to 15 Caribbean destinations within a radius of 800 miles.

“Principally, for that mission, we have acquired a seven-passenger Beech King Air executive transport aircraft.

By the end of November Trans Island Air will upgrade its schedule charter service to fully scheduled service. The advantages of this are firstly, our seed inventory will be more widely available to the global distribution systems. Secondly, we’ll be able to enter into inter-line agreements with major carriers through ticketing from origins such as London, Atlanta or New York, through hub airports such as Hewenorra, Grenada or Barbados,” he said.

Prime Minister Chastanet said “the hubbing aspect of the business, and being able to facilitate international travel through our international flights to Dominica and hopefully very soon to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, really is something that we have aspired for,” he said.

TIA currently operates a 12-passenger Beech 99 Turboprop aircraft and by September will add a 19-seat Twin Otter to its fleet.

The carrier also has plans to begin flights from the Hewanorra International Airport to the Canefield Airport in Dominica from October 23, 2017.

This is to provide connections for travellers from the US, United Kingdom and other continents.

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