This month, Antigua and Barbuda mark a partnership milestone with British Airways, as the airline celebrates 60 years of flights between London and St, John, Antigua. For three generations, British Airways has connected travellers with Antigua and Barbuda, allowing eager visitors to experience the best of the twin-island nation.
Antigua and Barbuda marked British Airways’ 60th anniversary of flying to the twin-island nation with a cocktail reception hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority at the Rock Cottage, Blue Waters.
Cultural dancers and the melodious sounds of the Steelband set the celebratory mood, greeting British Airways executives, hoteliers, aviation and tourism stakeholders including representatives from the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association, the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority and the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.
At the event, the Honourable Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism and Investment, congratulated the airline on the excellent relationship cultivated throughout the sixty-year period, expressing interest in continued partnership and the further growth of flights to the destination.
“British Airways has for sixty years connected travellers from the UK and Europe to Antigua and Barbuda, allowing us to share our culture, our heritage, our hospitality, and the beauty of our destination. As a trusted partner, British Airways is interwoven into our tourism story. We share a rich history – from destination partnerships, marketing campaigns, to unwavering support during times of need, they have without a doubt contributed to the success of our tourism product. As we share in this momentous occasion, we congratulate and applaud BA. We look forward to many more years of partnership, and a mutually rewarding relationship with our twin-island paradise.”
British Airways is the longest serving carrier connecting the Caribbean to the UK, and its links to the region are stronger than ever, supporting local tourism and bringing families and friends together.
British Airways, Regional Director (Antigua, St. Kitts, and Turks & Caicos) – Airports, Patrice Skerritt commenting on the tourism celebrations said: “We are most appreciative of your efforts in recognising this milestone with us at British Airways.
“British Airways has always had a very strong relationship with Antigua and Barbuda and for sixty years, we have flown visitors to enjoy holidays, and we have reunited our Caribbean friends and family both here in the region as well as in London and beyond.”
Skerritt thanked the gathering for joining in the anniversary celebrations and noted that the airline looked forward to serving the route for many more years to come.
British Airways then called British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) first touched down at Antigua’s V. C. Bird International Airport on June 1, 1962.
A sense of nostalgia was brought to the event as CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C. James shared tales of the airline from its first flight to Antigua in 1962, their 1965 corporate sponsorship of Antigua Carnival, and the November 2, 1984 arrival of the Concorde to Antigua – as well as the development of a modern day partnership considered a “marriage made in heaven with an airline that has always served the destination well”.
In November 2019, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority honoured British Airways as an outstanding partner by presenting the airline with a ‘Black Pineapple Award’ for their contribution to the success of the summer marketing campaign #WhatCoolLooksLike.
The celebrations featured the presentation of a beautiful British Airways airline sculpted cake to British Airways’ Regional Director – Airports Patrice Skerritt and Key Partnership Manager Marc James. British Airways was also presented with a replica of a historic photo obtained from the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda of 1965 Carnival Queen Hyacinth Barrow waving to on-lookers as she prepared to board BOAC on a prize-win flight to England. Minister Fernandez was also gifted with a sixty-year commemorative plaque from the airline.