Bahamasair’s Inaugural flight with 105 passengers from Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina to Freeport, Grand Bahama left around 3:55pm on Thursday, November 17, 2022 with the traditional water salute.
Following a brief ceremony in the Departure Lounge of Raleigh-Durham International Airport, the passengers excitedly boarded the Grand Bahama bound flight.
Among those in attendance were officials from the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, Bahamasair, the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board, RDU Airport Authority and RDU Executive Board, travel agents along with members of the press from Grand Bahama, Nassau and Raleigh.
Acting Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, Mrs. Latia Duncombe said The Bahamas has 16 islands and unique destinations, but Thursday was about Grand Bahama.
“The Bahamas is the only place you can go in the entire world where there are 16 destinations in just one destination. Today is an amazing day, an exciting day because there is a direct flight, nonstop from Raleigh, North Carolina into Grand Bahama and then onto New Providence.”
Deputy Managing Director of Bahamasair, Prince Storr, welcomed the passengers and said there will be many more new flights in the airline’s future. Mr. Storr thanked all those who worked “tirelessly” to make it happen.
“This inaugural flight represents a significant boost into the economy of Grand Bahama. Historically North Carolina and Grand Bahama share a rich history and relationship.”
There are many Bahamians either living or studying in Raleigh and the new flight is the first time that there is a direct flight between the two cities. “This represents the seventh international route that we are going to enjoy on the island of Grand Bahama. There’s Toronto, Montreal, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Charlotte and now Raleigh. So, we expect a significant boost.”
The flights, which have a capacity of 140 seats, will arrive twice weekly, Thursday and Sunday.
President and Chief Executive Officer of RDU Airport Authority, Michael Landguth said it was a pleasure to have the new direct flight into Freeport, Grand Bahama. With over four million people calling the Raleigh-Durham International Airport home, he said, the route can be a very successful one.
“There’s lots of excitement about this new destination. We look forward to the cultural exchange and the two vibrant communities that it will bring together as a result of this connectivity.”
Guests were treated to Bootleg Chocolate, a product made in Freeport, as well as Sands Beer.
By ROBYN ADDERLEY/Bahamas Information Services