It was on April 1, 1987 some 30 years since British Airways (BA) first landed at the Point Salines International Airport, now called the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA).
In acknowledgment of the 30 year partnership, BA officials recognised the Government of Grenada and three hoteliers who have provided unwavering service to the industry over the years.
A meet and greet was organised by the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) last Saturday at MBIA attended mainly by officials from government, the Grenada Airports Authority (GAA), BA representatives and some of the island’s leading hoteliers.
Plaques were presented to Spice Island Beach Resort who was represented by Managing Director, Sir Royston Hopkin, Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa through its Director, Leo Garbutt and Coyaba Beach Resort represented by Managing Director, Andre Cherman.
British Airways’ Commercial Manager for the Caribbean, Diane Corrie thanked the hoteliers for their services over the past 30 years.
“We would like to use this opportunity to specially recognise your professionalism, exceptional customer service over these many years and also a special thank you to your team who isn’t here today – they have played a big part in that success over the 30 years,” she said.
According to Corrie, BA is committed to growing the relationships over years to come.
“We look forward to continuing to deliver value to you our customers.
We are very grateful for the strong support we’ve received from the government and the people of Grenada and we are very proud of this special relationship with this wonderful island. We’re looking forward to 30 more years,” she added.
The BA official noted that the continuing success of the relationship between Grenada and the airline is as a result of team effort.
“Our positive relationships with successive governments, tourism authorities and our hotel and trade partners have been instrumental in helping us to serve this beautiful island…we fly to 12 gateways in the Caribbean, Grenada is a special one, everybody always asks about Grenada,” she said.
Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), Rodney George thanked BA for its service over the years, which has contributed immensely to the local tourism industry.
“I expect that this partnership will endure for a very long time to come. I want to take this opportunity to thank British Airways and letting you know, Captain and Crew that we are very grateful to BA for bringing so many people here to enjoy Grenada, the Spice of Caribbean to share in that experience and I do hope that you would convey these sentiments to your management.
“…Ladies and gentlemen it is a fact that tourism is vital to Grenada’s economy and reliable, and efficient air transportation is a cog in the wheel that makes the tourism machinery run smoothly, and I think British Airways recognised that from the very beginning and recognised that they’ve had to play a role in the development of the tourism industry in Grenada.
Minister of Tourism, Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen who was also on hand to receive a token of appreciation from the BA officials, said the years of friendship between Grenada and British Airways have grown from strength to strength.
“Some things have changed, the quality of the service has changed, the friendship hasn’t changed but I think the range of export that we have of our produce has certainly widened.
“British Airways does provide an extremely important and invaluable service not only in transporting people but our produce…it speaks to the rich blend of its warm-hearted people.
“If anything has changed about that, we have become more warm hearted and you will find all of your visitors would say that…”.
In recent years, tourism has emerged as the leading sector for Grenada both in terms of job creation and foreign exchange earnings.