Barbados Today

GAIA ready to meet travel demands, CEO says

By Rawle Toney

As the aviation landscape evolves with the emergence of new airlines, the Chief Executive Officer of the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA), Hadley Bourne, underscores the facility’s commitment to adaptability and continuous improvement to meet the expanding demands of air services.

Responding to inquiries from Barbados TODAY, Bourne highlighted the strategic preparations underway for the anticipated influx of passengers during the ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled from June 1 to 29 in the West Indies and USA.

With Barbados set to host the final match of this event, Bourne pointed out the importance of readiness in accommodating the surge in air traffic at the Island’s only airport.

Speaking at a press conference hosted by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI), where the return of Delta Airline services to the Island was announced by Minister of Tourism and International Transport Ian Gooding-Edghill, Bourne acknowledged the challenges posed by increased service demands.

He said the GAIA takes a proactive stance in meeting these challenges, particularly during peak hours between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Bourne elaborated on ongoing efforts to enhance capacity, citing renovations to the Concord facility as an example of infrastructure upgrades tailored to meet evolving market needs.

These improvements are not only aimed at optimizing the air-to-sea transition but also at accommodating the anticipated influx of visitors during events like the ICC T20 World Cup.

Collaboration between the GAIA and the government is paramount in this endeavour, “because it’s wanting for us to build the markets and bring the persons, but also to keep them.”

“So from a facility and a customer experience point of view, that is something that we must continue to work on harmoniously, not just as individual entities but as a country collectively because we don’t want the hard work to go in vain.”

Bourne stressed the importance of a harmonious approach to enhancing the overall customer experience, adding, “we want people to come, but we also want them to repeat and join that club of visitors.”

Barbados is slated to host five preliminary matches, three super eight clashes and the final on June 29.

Bourne, who serves as a member of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), which is Chaired by former Barbados Ambassador to the USA, Noel Lynch, said the GAIA is “currently in the process of building our capacity both from a beautification point of view and also logistically in terms of equipment, et cetera.”

While affirming the GAIA’s capability to handle the expected surge in arrivals, Bourne said the importance of meticulous planning to expedite and facilitate the movement of visitors, particularly those attending cricket-related events, is a top priority for the GAIA.

(RT)

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