|Conviasa returns to TT |
By Sasha Harrinanan Thursday, August 18 2011
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BIENVENIDO (WELCOME): President of Venezuelan airline Conviasa Coronel Jesus Vinas Garcia (second from left) is greeted by Airports Authority (AATT) g...
Travel between Trinidad and Venezuela became much simpler yesterday with the inaugural flight of Venezuela’s national airline, Conviasa, from Porlamar, Margarita to Piarco International Airport in Trinidad.
Conviasa’s president Colonel Jesús Viñas García said the route was about more than just direct commercial flights between both countries.
“This is the first step in Conviasa’s expansion plan in the region, which should link other cities in the Conviasa network to Trinidad and other Caribbean countries. The Simon Bolivar National Plan to integrate Venezuela with rest of the Caribbean community and this is what today’s flight is all about,” García said.
Yesterday’s flight was the first of four commercial flights per week between Porlamar and Piarco, with another two flights to be added to the weekly schedule in the coming months. Flights can be booked through any accredited travel agent and through Conviasa’s official travel agent, Navarro’s Travel Service. Although yesterday afternoon’s flight was called an inaugural one, the airline’s president noted this was not technically the first time the airline had flown to Piarco.
“Conviasa has re-inaugurated its route between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela after a ten-month absence. It’s a company that began operations in June 2006 and re-inaugurates its operations today,” García said. TT’s Civil Aviation Authority suspended Conviasa from operating in TT airspace on September 14, 2010, the day after domestic flight 2350 crashed shortly before landing at Ciudad Guayana, en route from Margarita. Seventeen of the 51 people on board were killed in the crash. The airline has since been cleared to operate by civil aviation authorities in both countries.
Looking toward the future, Conviasa’s vice-president Arnoldo González Dell told Newsday about the airline new Caribbean routes.
“(Today) we start service to St Vincent and Dominica then the day after (Friday), we start in Grenada. Our plan for 2012 includes launching a flight to the Dominican Republic and Central America. We decided to expand now because a business must grow or disappear,” Dell said. Conviasa’s vice-president explained that it is the “long-haul carrier of Venezuela,” offering service to ten major cities including the Damascus, Syria, Bogota, Colombia and Havana, Cuba.