Shirley Heights, Antigua and Barbuda
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The government of Antigua and Barbuda has announced plans for a new airline, Antigua Airways, to operate direct flights from West Africa to the Caribbean island of Antigua. 

West Africa
© James Wiseman

New direct flight route from West Africa to Antigua 

The airline has been said to be financed by wealthy Africans who would like to establish a new direct route between the continent of Africa and the Eastern Caribbean. Plans are in its initial phases, and as such it has not yet been revealed the exact destination within West Africa that the flights will operate from.  

Global aviation route development has been prevalent in the past months, an example being the recent codeshare agreement between South African airways and Kenya Airways.

The firm hopes to partner with Leeward Islands Air Transport Services (LIAT), a regional airline operating flights across the Caribbean. 

A statement released by the government Cabinet after a weekly meeting stated:  

“The firm is hoping to collaborate with LIAT, flying passengers north and south of Antigua who have come from West Africa on Antigua Airways.”

Diaspora connections via aviation 

These plans are deepening diaspora connections in the form of aviation. Historically, Antigua and Barbuda’s connections  with the West African region dates all the back to the 1670s with West Africans arriving on the island during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 

The plans could also serve to stimulate different forms of growth in the Eastern Caribbean region, from tourism to economic growth. The Antigua and Barbuda government have expressed excitement about the opportunities that this new proposal can bring about. A government spokesperson stated: 

“Our Cabinet sees this as an opportunity for great expansion and growth within the Eastern Caribbean.” 

As plans develop, more insight will be provided concerning areas such as specific destinations and flight frequencies. Which airport in West Africa do you think flights will be operated from? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section! 


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