Sep 29 2007

Brazil's Ambassador to Barbados, Orlando Galbeas Oliveira at the function yesterday

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Direct air link for Barbados and Brazil
Web Posted - Wed May 30 2007
By Stacia Browne

PLANS are afoot for Barbados and the second largest developing country in the world to establish a direct air link, hopefully in time for the beginning of the 2007 -2008 tourist season.

This is according Ambassador of Brazil to Barbados Orlando Galveas Oliveira, who was speaking at the Fifth Barbados International Business Association luncheon held yesterday at the Yacht Club.

Ambassador Oliveira told the function there will be a direct flight from Barbados to Belem.

He said, "it was to start in April this year, but there have been delays and we are hoping that it will start soon".

The company which is looking to start this initiative is a Brazilian firm called TAF that already has an air link with Suriname. One is also scheduled to start with Guyana.

The link is to occur between Grantley Adams International Airport and Belem, one of the major cities in the Northern part of Brazil, which has an international airport with links to a number of major cities in Latin America and the wider world.

He also disclosed that these plans have been in the works since 2005, when the President of TAF came to Barbados and expressed interests in establishing the route. The diplomat further disclosed there is serious interest among Brazilians to travel to Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean. He also maintained that the air link could also be of interest to tourists in both Brazil and Barbados for those who visiting for a long period of time.

According to Ambassador Oliveira, the link would also be important for Brazilians who live in the Northeast near Belem, and who wish to travel to the US via Barbados. This would drastically decrease the time for such a trip. The airlift capacity of the aircrafts which will be operating on the route, is approximately 110.

The Ambassador also highlighted the fact that air link could assist with trade between the two countries. The link could also be the solution for an issue that has brought much public debate for a long-time. For a number of years there have been numerous calls for a direct link between Caribbean countries and those in Latin America.

President of BIBA, Tom Sears, told journalists that such a link could bring major benefits for Barbados. In fact, he explained, "such a flight route could make Barbados into a hub for the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America".

He also explained that the link would be a natural business connection between the two countries. He said "this air link would make Barbados an important hub for the Caribbean".

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