St. Kitts announces expanded Air Canada service at culinary event

TORONTO — It was all hands on deck at St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s second annual culinary event where travel agents helped prepare mouthwatering recipes from popular Kittitian restaurants.

Taking place at Toronto’s Cirillo’s Culinary Academy last week, the second annual, sold-out event included a full house of Tripcentral travel professionals who were given an update on what’s new on the island.

Most notable new offering? Expanded Air Canada service, with a second weekly nonstop from Toronto on Tuesdays from Feb. 11 through April 14, 2020. The added flight complements already existing nonstops on Saturday and extends Air Canada’s service to St. Kitts to six months of the year.

According to Paul Minich, Market Consultant for The St. Kitts Tourism Authority in Canada, the extra flight is a reflection of growing demand by Canadians for the destination: “We are experiencing strong growth from Canada and this expansion of service is very significant to the destination. We are thrilled.”

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added: “Following its extension of service to St. Kitts to six months of the year for winter 2018-2019 and the upgauging of the majority of those flights from a 136-seat Airbus A-319 to a 200-seat Airbus A-321 aircraft, Air Canada’s addition of mid-week flying from Toronto for the first time in our history is a huge benefit for us. Allowing more flexibility in travellers’ length of stay, it provides one more building block to help up to continue our momentum of strong arrivals growth from Canada that we are achieving through targeted marketing to the affluent traveller in the golf and lifestyle niche markets.”

For the first four months of 2019, air passenger arrivals from Air Canada increased over 60% compared to the same period in 2018. Its new Tuesday flight will significantly increase the amount of available seats to carry travellers to the island, thereby reinforcing the island’s potential air arrivals growth for 2020.

Air Canada first began serving St. Kitts non-stop on Fridays in peak season from Toronto Pearson International Airport in 2011 and subsequently shifted to Saturday service. It is the island’s only non-stop scheduled service from Canada. In 2018, service expanded from peak season only to operate for a six-month period starting in November 2018 through the end of April 2019.

The new Tuesday flight will operate on a 136-seat Airbus A-319 with 12 Premium Rouge and 124 Economy class seats. Flight AC1730 will depart YYZ at 11:20 a.m. and arrive at SKB at 5:05 p.m, while return flight AC1731 will depart SKB at 5:55 p.m. and arrive at YYZ at 10:05 p.m.