BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS - Further expanding on a successful airline-destination partnership, Air Canada will operate a second weekly non-stop flight from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to St. Kitts on Tuesdays in peak season for the first time in the island's history, complementing the carrier's existing non-stop Saturday service.
"I could not be more pleased about the addition of our first ever mid-week flight by Air Canada," said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs. "These Tuesday flights provide Canadian visitors and the Diaspora alike with more options to visit the destination during the busiest time of year for leisure travel. The service increase is highly significant for us and demonstrates the carrier's growing confidence in our tourism product."
From February 11 through April 14, 2020, Air Canada will operate the flight utilizing a 136-seat Airbus A-319 with 12 Premium Rouge and 124 Economy class seats.
Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, "Following its extension of service to St. Kitts to six months of the year for winter 2018-2019 and the upgauging of the majority of those flights from a 136-seat Airbus A-319 to a 200-seat Airbus A-321 aircraft, Air Canada's addition of mid-week flying from Toronto for the first time in our history is a huge benefit for us. Allowing more flexibility in travelers' length of stay, it provides one more buliding block to help us to continue our momentum of strong arrivals growth from Canada that we are achieving through targeted marketing to the affluent traveler in the golf and lifestyle niche markets."
For the first four months of 2019, air passenger arrivals from Air Canada increased over 60% as compared to the same period in 2018. Air Canada's new Tuesday flight significantly increases the amount of available seats to carry travelers to the island, thereby reinforcing St. Kitts' potential air arrivals growth for 2020. This additional service is part of the destination's specific strategy to further develop its tourism industry by building out airlift from select target gateways with valued air partners to support its expanding hotel product.
"Air Canada's flights to St. Kitts are very popular with Canadians looking to escape winter to this beautiful destination. This additional flight complements our existing Saturday service from Toronto. Not only does it provide more opportunities for tourists to visit this world renowned Caribbean island destination but also offers flexibility for local residents to visit other destinations in the world from our global hub in Toronto," said Mark Galardo, Vice President, Network Planning at Air Canada."
Air Canada first began serving St. Kitts non-stop on Fridays in peak season from Toronto Pearson International Airport in 2011 and subsequently shifted to Saturday service. It is the island's only non-stop scheduled service from Canada. In 2018, service expanded from peak season only to operate for a six-month period starting in November 2018 through the end of April 2019.
From its first flight on Canada Day 2013, Air Canada Rouge has made the world easier to reach by opening some of the most desirable destinations to leisure travelers with non-stop flights from across Canada. It has grown to over 50 aircraft from four, flown over 30 million customers, and added over 40 new destinations to the Air Canada network, including routes not served by any other carriers.