Friday December 07 2007
by Terresa McCall
The cries of the people of the Caribbean who have, â€śsuffered from exorbitant air fareâ€ť and â€śuncertain airliftâ€ť have not fallen on deaf ears and will be answered through the opening of a new Caribbean-based airline.
The airline, SKN Air Express, the hub of which will be in St. Kitts, is scheduled to begin operations next Saturday, offering chartered flights to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Jamaica and Guyana.
A representative of the company spoke with the SUN and explained that the overwhelming need for a more efficient, effective and up-to-date Caribbean airline was one of the main factors which influenced the formation of this company.
â€śOne of the factors that influenced us in making the decision to bring this new airline to the Federation is that we are very cognisant that adequate airlift is vital to the development of tourism in the Federation as well as the Caribbean.
â€śWe are also aware of the cries of the people of the Federation and the diaspora of the exorbitance of intro-regional airlift. Having heard the cries, we thought it best to bring a safe and more efficient service.â€ť
The representative further explained that the services which will be provided by SKN Air Express will be more viable and quicker than those of existing competition.
â€śWe are introducing to the Caribbean, the use of regional jets which offer speed, comfort and reliability. These are two Dornier 328/300 jets which seat 32 passengers each.
â€śThey reduce the flight time thus giving passengers more time to dedicate to the activities for they are travelling.
â€śFor example, to travel from St. Kitts to St. Maarten using another airline would take at least 25 minutes but aboard one of our jets would take just about 12-15 minutes.â€ť
While individuals, including flight attendants, groundsmen and front desk staff, have already been trained, the airlineâ€™s representative explained that in February next year, when they hope to launch regular scheduled flights, other people will be recruited and trained.
The management and owners of this airline would like the people of St. Kitts/Nevis to appreciate and embrace this airline as their own.
The first SKN Air Express chartered flight leaves St. Kitts this coming morning at 7:15 a.m. bound for Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten.
Booking agents for SKN Air Express are Travel World in St. Kitts and Claxtonâ€™s Services in Nevis.