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Tourism ‘exploring new air routes’

Kenneth Bascome (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Ministry of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities is working to secure new air routes for the island, according to the junior minister for the portfolio.

Kenneth Bascome said that the ministry had been “working closely” with the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Skyport to secure new air routes, including from the United States and Europe.

“These conversations are becoming easier since Bermuda is back on the map with new hotels and greater lift,” Mr Bascome said. “JetBlue’s commitment this year has played a big part.” According to a release issued by the ministry, May air arrivals jumped by close to 24 per cent in two years. The number of air vacation and leisure arrivals for the first five months of 2017 are 29 per cent higher than two years ago, the release said.

“These numbers reflect the hard work of the BTA, which the OBA Government had the foresight to create,” Mr Bascome said.

“These numbers show that Bermuda’s tourism product is once again becoming a major and important part of the economic contribution to Bermuda.”

In response, the Progressive Labour Party sent out a press release last night branding Mr Bascome’s statement as “vague” asking what new airlines he was referring to.

The statement criticised the One Bermuda Alliance “lengthy record of broken promises adding: “It is difficult to take news of ‘potential’ anything seriously.

“At this stage, it is clear that they will say anything or do anything to erase or distract from an overall record of failure and neglect of the island’s unemployed, our youth and our seniors.”