The new direct Condor Airlines service between Munich, Germany and Tobago will lead to an increase in visitors from Europe.
This according to Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Tourism and Transportation, Assemblyman Tracy Davidson-Celestine, who says it will also result in greater hotel occupancy and spending on the island. She revealed that marketing the new flight will cost the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) €300,000.
The announcement was made at Wednesday’s post Executive media briefing at the Administrative Complex, Calder Hall. The jet service, which starts in November, will fly directly to the ANR Robinson International Airport and then go on to Barbados on its return to Munich.
Davidson-Celestine said Condor Airlines, which is part of the Thomas Cook Group, will use a Boeing 767-300. That aircraft can accommodate 259 passengers, and has business class, premium and economy seats. It will bring a total of 12,950 additional seats to the destination during the European winter season later this year.
She said the new service opens up southern Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic to Tobago, and avoids people having to take a three-hour train ride to Frankfurt to then take a long haul flight to Tobago.
“This is an important development for us because the DOTT (Division of Tourism and Transportation) has been working hard to increase international arrivals and an important part of that is having direct flights between our source markets and the destination,” the Secretary said.
In addition, Davidson-Celestine said, while at ITB 2016 in Germany, the TT delegation met with four major airlines to discuss the possibility of airlift arrangements with Scandinavia and additional airlift from Germany. She said the discussions focused on the possibilities of a low cost service as well as a new catchment area out of Germany, a significant source market for Tobago.
Compatibility is another important factor the parties looked at to ensure easy airlift access to other cities wishing to sell Destination Tobago.
Davidson-Celestine said: “I am pleased to say that based on the discussions, we are optimistic that they will bear fruit. Proposals to and from the respective airlines would be submitted within one week. We can confirm that Tobago is a centre of interest for the entire tourism industry. Talks with new airlines and operators show that now is an exciting time for Tobago.”
She said a tour operator has confirmed that a group of 60 golfers will visit Tobago later this year.