There’s a new airline in the Caribbean. Antigua Airways, a carrier operating from V. C. Bird International Airport (ANU) on the island of Antigua (a few kilometers northeast of St John’s, the capital of Antigua and Barbuda), will launch operations on November 1. This new operator will begin commercial passenger flights with a chartered Boeing 767-300 and have unique-looking routes from the two-island nation.
A new airline in the Caribbean
Antigua Airways, a project in the making since July this year, when the Caribbean government announced it would create a State carrier, will finally operate its first flight on November 1, flying between Murtala Mohammed International Airport (LOS) in Lagos, Nigeria, and V. C. Bird International Airport in Antigua.
This commercial flight will be operated via a charter service provided by EuroAtlantic Airways, a carrier based in Lisbon Airport (LIS), Portugal. On Facebook, Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, said that Antigua Airways received flight clearance and landing permits for charter flight operations. Michael Akinola, Antigua Airways chairman, added,
“EuroAtlantic Airways will be operating a charter flight operation as a holiday vacation tour package from Murtala Mohammed International Airport (LOS) to V. C. Bird International Airport (ANU) on November 1, 2022, at 04:20 hours. Estimated time of arrival at V. C. Bird International Airport is 13:30 local time.”
The aircraft and the charter airline
This inaugural flight for Antigua Airways is operated with a Boeing 767-300, registration CS-TST, according to the information published by Gaston Browne. This plane is one of the seven widebody jets that compose EuroAtlantic Airways’ fleet.
CS-TST is a 20 years old Boeing 767 with a capacity to carry 309 passengers in a single-class cabin. It is currently owned by EuroAtlantic Airways, although it was first delivered to Hainan Airlines in 2002. The Chinese carrier operated this aircraft until 2018.
EuroAtlantic Airways is an airline founded in 2000. It was twice rebranded. Between 1993 and 1997, it was called Air Zarco, and between 1997 and 2000, it was called Air Madeira. The charter airline currently owns four Boeing 767-300(ER)s and three Boeing 777-200(ER)s. EuroAtlantic wet leases its fleet to companies all over the world.
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Antigua Airways plans
As reported by local media outlets, the new airline Antigua Airways is a major plan by the government. Antigua Airways’ launch of operations will help boost regional connectivity in the Caribbean and open new links (for instance, the flight today is set to be the first direct link between the island nation and West Africa).
Antigua Airways is also looking to have a partnership with LIAT, an Antigua-based airline that has faced financial trouble in the last few years.
In terms of connectivity, Antigua Airways says on its website that it will fly to three international destinations. These are Lagos (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), and Toronto (Canada). Nonetheless, the booking system of the company doesn’t seem to work. The website allows you to buy an economy package, a business package, a flight ticket, or a flight and visa, which prices ranging from 1.5 million to four million nairas (around US$3,390 to US$9,000) but does not let you choose the route or destination. The business package, which is the most expensive, at four million nairas, is set to include a ticket, accommodation, and arrival visa, according to the website.
Would you be interested in flying with Antigua Airways? What do you think about its routes? Let us know in the comments below.