Dean Fenton, the country’s US Director of Tourism, says flights out of the United States are expected to increase this summer.
The news comes after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reclassified Antigua & Barbuda’s travel status at Level 1.
This rating indicates that the COVID-19 infection rate is under control, and that travel to the destination carries a low risk of contracting the virus.
On July 3, for the first time, JetBlue will fly out of New Jersey to Antigua, Fenton reports.
About two weeks ago, the Cabinet announced that British Airways is planning to return to Antigua with four weekly flights. Reportedly, flights will then increase to seven weekly and, eventually, to nine, the Government says.
Virgin Atlantic also will increase its flights to this destination this year, the Cabinet says.
“There is pent up demand for leisure travel … and the passengers will return in large numbers as soon as the source-markets achieve herd immunity,” last week’s Cabinet Notes claim.
Meanwhile, speaking to the cruise tourism sector, Fenton says many players will benefit when the season starts, since a number of cruise lines will homeport in Antigua.
Hotel-occupancy levels will likely increase and food distributors and supermarkets will also benefit, the Director says.
Fenton says the US marketing team has been coming up with creative ideas to attract visitors here amidst the pandemic, and is meeting with a number of key stakeholders.