By Yasmin Popescu, Media Unlimited for The Bahamas Weekly
Freeport, Grand Bahama - On Friday March 25, 2011, SkyBahamas made their inaugural voyage to Ft. Lauderdale Florida, from Freeport, Grand Bahama. They will begin offering services four days per week twice a day to Ft. Lauderdale from Freeport, says Mr. Kenneth Romer, CM, COO, Corporate Consultant.
The flight left the Freeport International Airport around 10 am arriving at the SheltAir Service Center in Ft. Lauderdale 35 minutes later.
The airline executives, along with journalists and travel agents were greeted by Mr. Steve Belleme, Business Development Manager, Broward County Aviation Department and his team, and were shown around the airbase.
It was noted that this flight and base would be servicing only 20 passengers per flight.
Mr. Belleme welcomed the group on behalf of the Broward County’s Board of County Commission, to the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. “We are very glad to have SkyBahamas operating,” he continued, noting that, “the Caribbean and The Bahamas are our largest markets. Freeport and Nassau are very important to us as well as the community. We are very confident the operation will be very successful and we encourage everyone to come visit us, enjoy our shopping, enjoy our cruises, enjoy the beautiful beaches that we have here and enjoy your vacation.”
Capt. Randy Butler said they want the community to know the convenience of using the Ft. Lauderdale route to Florida, noting the hospitality of the staff at this airport. He said they are looking forward to the partnership that is being forged between the two destinations via SkyBahamas.
While this flight is very significant for The Bahamas and Freeport and Nassau in particular, Capt. Butler says this is just the first step as they hope to also introduce flights from other islands in The Bahamas to this destination.
“Next is Marsh Harbour, Abaco and the next phase will new be north Eleuthera and Cat Island. That has been a vacancy left by Gulf Stream airline. He also showed a spot that they are in negotiations to lease for their desk in Ft. Lauderdale.
Representing the business community of Grand Bahama was Mr. Peter Turnquest, President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce and Chairman, SkyBahamas, who expressed his pleasure with this move.
"We look forward to a successful and mutually beneficial relationship with this area" he stated.
"As you know Grand Bahama needs airlift" he continued, "It need attraction and we are doing our part to help bring around that type of help needed in Grand Bahama. We are a Bahamian airline, I am a Grand Bahamian, and so we are certainly going to do our part to be cost competitive and as efficient as we possibly can be."