Airport chief sees 2004 as bumper year

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Government's courting of airlines to increase air traffic to and from Bermuda is poised to turn 2004 into a bumper year for the Island.

Airport General Manager James Howes is remaining tight-lipped on any details but is promising an announcement in the “next few days” detailing new routes or increased services, or both, to Bermuda.


Government's courting of airlines to increase air traffic to and from Bermuda is poised to turn 2004 into a bumper year for the Island.

Airport General Manager James Howes is remaining tight-lipped on any details but is promising an announcement in the “next few days” detailing new routes or increased services, or both, to Bermuda.

A delegation led by Transport Minister Dr. Ewart Brown, and including Department of Tourism and Airport officials visited “the decision-makers” at Continental, US Airways, JetBlue, United and American Airlines at the end of last year to discuss ways of expanding Bermuda's air links.

“Barring any international crisis, airline officials are optimistic that 2004 will be a good year,” Mr. Howes told The Royal Gazette.

“The Minister of Transport will be making an announcement imminently that will greatly please people in Bermuda.

“We think this will be a better year for the industry and we expect things to be pretty busy at Bermuda International Airport this summer.”

Mr. Howes was unwilling to give away any details ahead of the announcement, although it is understood the routes affected will be those linking the Island with the US rather than a rival competitor to British Airways on the route to Europe.

Mr. Howes also told The Royal Gazette that passenger numbers from Thanksgiving onwards had returned to similar levels to previous years, a welcome boost following the 40 percent slump in travellers in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Fabian.

The Airport suffered more than $6 million worth of damage in September's hurricane although repairs, and improvements, will be in place by the time the high-season starts again in spring, Mr. Howes added.

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