Passengers disembark from a Sunwing Airlines jet after it landed the ANR Robinson International Airport following its inaugural flight to Tobago from Canada yesterday.

(Trinidad Guardian) Some 127 pas­sen­gers ar­rived on Sun­wing Air­lines’ first-ever di­rect flight from Cana­da to To­ba­go yes­ter­day. The flight marked a land­mark mo­ment in To­ba­go’s tourism his­to­ry.

At ap­prox­i­mate­ly 3 pm, the flight land­ed at the ANR Robin­son In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port, pro­vid­ing a di­rect link from Toron­to’s Pear­son In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port to Crown Point, To­ba­go.

Speak­ing at the wel­com­ing cer­e­mo­ny af­ter­wards, To­ba­go Tourism Agency Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Louis Lewis said the part­ner­ship with Sun­wing Air­lines was very sig­nif­i­cant.

“It’s al­so a very im­por­tant event for us be­cause it sig­nals a di­rect link to the Cana­di­an mar­ket, which we have iden­ti­fied as a growth mar­ket and a di­rect ser­vice from an air­line which has a tour op­er­a­tor branch which al­so has a ho­tel in­vest­ment. You could not ask for a bet­ter part­ner,” Lewis said.

Cana­di­an High Com­mis­sion­er Car­la Hogan Rufelts al­so laud­ed the part­ner­ship.

“The To­ba­go Be­yond brand, I think it’s fan­tas­tic…, but it’s not just about Toron­to on­ly it’s about all kinds of Cana­di­ans com­ing to Toron­to from around the coun­try to come down here and ex­pe­ri­ence To­ba­go, which is ex­tra­or­di­nary.”

To­ba­go House of As­sem­bly Chief Sec­re­tary Kelvin Charles said the ad­di­tion of the Cana­di­an flight was of tremen­dous ben­e­fit to To­ba­go’s tourism stake­hold­ers.

“This ad­di­tion­al ser­vice opens new op­por­tu­ni­ties as we con­tin­ue to strength­en our en­deav­ours through our good strate­gies to im­prove air­lift to To­ba­go and grow our in­ter­na­tion­al vis­i­tor ar­rivals in our key source mar­kets,” the Chief Sec­re­tary said.

Ac­cord­ing to Charles, To­ba­go’s tourism sec­tor is on the re­bound, as the ar­rival fig­ure for 2017 was 25, 264, while with a few days to go be­fore the end of 2018, the in­ter­na­tion­al ar­rival fig­ure stands at 25, 405.

Sun­wing Air­lines Inc. is the first all-in­clu­sive brand to bring its busi­ness to To­ba­go. The air­line, which is head­quar­tered in Toron­to, of­fers char­ters and sched­uled flights as part of a va­ca­tion pack­age. The fi­nal stage of the deal be­tween the air car­ri­er and the THA took place at the World Trav­el Mar­ket 2018 on No­vem­ber 6.  

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