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Statement by Tourism Minister on EC Express

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Statement by Tourism Minister on EC Express

I am pleased to announce that early next year, a new regional airline EC Express will commence operations in the region with Headquarters in St. Lucia.

The Government of St. Lucia is comforted by the fact that St. Lucia was chosen, and we thank the Directors and Shareholders for the confidence displayed in the stability and enabling business environment presently existing in the island

St. Lucia is experiencing a surge in investment in tourism and other sectors. Over four hundred new hotel rooms are in the final stages of construction, and nearly five hundred additional rooms will commence shortly. This growth will cause an increase in demand for St. Lucia as a tourist destination both internationally and regionally, and by extension increase demand for air-lift.

EC Express will provide more frequent connections to Barbados, Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada and Tobago, and also serve as a hub for connections from other international carriers.

This will have a direct impact on the St. Lucian economy. In terms of employment, over 100 new jobs will be created in categories like pilots, mechanics and reservation staff. The multiplier effect of these relatively high paying jobs is obvious.

EC Express will endeavour to compliment other regional and local airlines in the consolidation of existing services and expansion into new areas of opportunity. However, the new airline will concentrate on creation of strategic alliances with new international airlines in the United States, Europe and United Kingdom.

The St. Lucia Government anxiously awaits the inaugural landing of the EC Express and acknowledges the contribution that Air Jamaica is making to the tourism industry.

Philip J. Pierre

October 7, 1999



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