Direct flights from Africa in works

Direct flights from the African Continent to Barbados could be coming soon.

Okechukwu Ihejirika, the acting regional chief operating officer of the Afreximbank CARICOM Office in Barbados, said that an announcement on the flights should be made soon.

“There is political support because the Government of the day is also desirous of seeing this happen as it will facilitate not just tourism. Barbados won’t just have seasonal visitors but people can come all year round. There is a lot of value to this happening and we are happy that everybody is on board and we are looking forward for this to be happening very soon,” he said.

Reliable sources said that the airline will most likely be out of Nigeria as the Government had been having discussions with Air Peace.

Direct travel betwen the region and Africa has been on the agenda of the two regions and forms part of the discussion with the developmental Afreximbank with which the CARICOM region has formed an alliance.

On Wednesday the four-day Afreximbank Annual Conference will take place in The Bahamas, along with its AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2024) during which thousands are expected to participate at different levels from government policy-makers to captains of industry and entrepreneurs.

Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Shelly Williams said that the country had not only been approached by Air Peace but other airlines from the continent, but the process was still ongoing.

Ihejirika hinted at the pending sanctioning stating: “There is an airline with approval from an African government to fly into Barbados but it is a two-way thing. Once that happens that will be one of the steps forward to the realisation of this particular dream.”

He explained that while some Africans have visa-free access into Barbados they had to obtain transit visas from other countries because there was no direct air link.

“That is an inhibitor and an important area that requires focus because once it is solved it will mean easier movement of people.

It would mean you won’t need to spend 20 hours coming to Barbados transiting through the United States or London and spending idle time in the airport. Instead you would only spend seven to eight hours getting here.

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