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In a major vote of confidence for Aruba tourism in Europe, British Airways has announced it is to start scheduled flights to the island.
The prestigious United Kingdom national carrier will launch twice-weekly flights from London-Gatwick Airport from March 26, 2023. Flights and packages with BA Holidays will go on sale on August 11, 2022.
The UK has been an increasingly important market for Aruba, with currently 11,000 Brits visiting yearly. The new flight will be a major boost, not only in visitor numbers but also in further raising the profile of the destination in Britain.
This will be the first direct scheduled flight to Aruba from the UK. British travellers have previously had the choice of a weekly summer direct charter or scheduled services with a change of flight in, mainly, Amsterdam or the USA. BA’s new service will operate on Thursdays and Sundays and will also call at Antigua before flying on to Aruba. A 336-seat Boeing 777-200 will operate on the route.
Welcoming BA’s decision, Minister of Tourism, Danguillaume P. Oduber, said: 'This is a memorable day for Aruba tourism. It means the island is now even more of a top-quality global destination. A fundamental element of our strategy has been to widen our international customer base and the decision by one of the world's largest and most prestigious carriers is a major step forward for this aim, proving a new air bridge to the island from the UK, an integral source market.
'Everyone involved in Aruban tourism, from the government to individuals who help provide our great service, is thrilled at the prospect of welcoming a new generation of travellers and I know we will all work hard to make their experience a truly memorable one. We are all excited to celebrate the first British Airways flight and we will do everything we can to make our relationship with a new global player airline a huge success.'
Aruba Tourism Authority CEO, Ronella Croes, added: 'This landmark decision by British Airways writes another chapter in the success story of tourism and Aruba.
'We have had long historic ties with Europe, particularly The Netherlands, and have been enormously successful in building on that, notably in the UK, from where our visitor numbers have grown and grown. This ground-breaking decision by the UK's national carrier to fly to Aruba endorses and further underlines the quality, consistency and professionalism of our destination and we are absolutely delighted at the potential of introducing our One Happy Island to an even bigger UK and wider European audience.
'A truly warm welcome awaits them.'
Mr. Joost Meijs, Chief Executive Officer of Aruba Airport Authority N.V. commented: Another milestone for the island’s tourism industry with a direct year-round scheduled service between London Gatwick Airport and Aruba. The introduction of this direct service is a goal we have long been working towards and we are thrilled that our air service development efforts have borne fruit. In a highly competitive arena, it is essential to have a direct year-round scheduled service and easy connections from major markets. This is a real team effort, and I am convinced that it will become a success!
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