The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

In addressing the Government Press Conference on Monday, February 14, the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Mr. Haydn Hughes, announced that the Honourable Parliamentary Secretary Mrs. Quincia Gumbs-Marie, and Director of Tourism, Ms. Stacey Liburd, would be leaving the island to attend the Routes Conference (of aviation personnel) in San Antonio, Texas.
They were to be travelling to the conference, accompanied by Mr. Kendell Richardson, the Compliance Officer in the Department of Maritime and Aviation.
However, in contacting the Minister later, The Anguillian learned that due to American Airlines’ overbooking, the Parliamentary Secretary did not manage to make the trip. Unfortunately, she was required to surrender her seat. Nonetheless, Ms. Liburd and Mr. Richardson did make the trip to the conference.

“The Routes Conference,” Mr. Hughes explained “is a coming together of aviation personnel and tourism officials in the travel industry to discuss travel trends and to make plans for viable routes to profitable destinations.”
Giving a backdrop to the Routes trip, the Minister stated: “Some years ago, there was an announcement that a major airline company would be operating into Anguilla to serve the island commencing December 2019. That did not happen but, subsequently, upon coming into office, we reached and tried hard to bring that particular airline to the table. Discussions have resumed with this airline again, thanks to the Honourable Parliamentary Secretary. She was successful in finally getting that company back to the table.”
He continued: “All of the major airline companies will be participating in the Routes Conference. The Anguilla delegation will meet them face to face and make our pitch to have them serve Anguilla as a destination. There is a great potential for travel to our island by these airlines, not only since we have increased the PCN (Pavement Classification Number) at the airport runway, but because we have immediate plans to develop the airport, including the terminal, parking, apron space and the like.”
He said that within the next few weeks Anguilla’s Aviation Master Plan would be available to share with the public.
During The Anguillian’s interview with the Minister, he added: “The fact that the Parliamentary Secretary was not able to travel, due to overbooking, proves that there is, indeed, a need for American Airlines to increase its schedule to Anguilla to between five and seven days per week, instead of just three days.” He said that the airport has been seeing some very heavy traffic with American Airlines lately.