Move to increase number of airlines serving Island

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Government officials are engaged in top-level talks with overseas carriers in an effort to increase the number of airlines serving Bermuda.

James Howes, general manager for the Bermuda International Airport could not be drawn on which airlines the Government is in talks with, but he was hopeful the negotiations would be over within the next 60 days.

  • Airport manager James Howes 
 Photo by Tony Cordeiro

    Airport manager James Howes Photo by Tony Cordeiro


Government officials are engaged in top-level talks with overseas carriers in an effort to increase the number of airlines serving Bermuda.

James Howes, general manager for the Bermuda International Airport could not be drawn on which airlines the Government is in talks with, but he was hopeful the negotiations would be over within the next 60 days.

Mr. Howes said: "The talks are at a very delicate stage and I would prefer not to divulge any details at this time."

He did say, however, that the Ministry of Tourism and Transport is also trying to increase competition between airlines serving Bermuda on some of the more popular routes.

"Passenger traffic increased by 50 percent on the New York route when JetBlue came on line and offered reduced fares," he said.

"We believe the same thing could happen on some of our other routes with increased airline competition."

Word of the negotiations came hard on the heels of news that passenger traffic at the Bermuda International Airport increased by 20 percent in August compared to the same month last year.

Mr. Howes attributed the increase to "years of hard work by the Ministry of Tourism and Transport to get more airlines to fly to Bermuda."

He added: "The 20 percent increase in August is the largest one month gain we've seen in years, paced by a 40 percent increase in the number of passengers flying on British Airways' London flights, exceeded only by a hefty 50 percent increase in volume from New York by American, Continental and JetBlue."

Mr. Howes is confident the increase in passenger traffic will be sustained in the future.

"This is not just a blip on the radar screen," he said. "We have seen a steady increase in passenger traffic and we expect that it will be sustained."

For the first eight months of 2006, a total of 629,307 passengers used the Airport compared to 586,659 for the same eight months in 2005, an overall increase of seven percent.

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