By anguillian June 20, 2017 12:32




8TAThe possibility of Tropic Ocean Airways, the leading seaplane operator in the Eastern United States and The Bahamas, operating in Anguilla was the topic of discussion in New York in the margins of the just-ended Caribbean Tourism Conference.

The exploratory talks involved Mr. Cardigan Connor, Anguilla’s Parliamentary Secretary, Tourism; Mr. Larry Franklin, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourismp; and Mr. Mike Ritzi, an official of Tropic Ocean Airways.

“There is a gentleman who wants to bring a seaplane to Anguilla which holds up to nine passengers,” Mr. Connor told The Anguillian. “He is making a presentation in St. Maarten on Wednesday this week and we will have representation there to see how that can work for us. The name of the gentleman is Mr. Mike Ritzi.”

Asked about the route of the possible seaplane service to Anguilla, the Parliamentary Secretary was of the view that it would likely be out of St. Thomas, Puerto Rico or even Antigua. “I think the airline is actually looking to see where the market suits it best,” he said. “Where we have an alternative to provide access to Anguilla, we would like to think that we can take advantage of it.”

Meanwhile, a Tropic Ocean Airways press release from St. Maarten – on Tuesday, June 13 – stated in part that Mr. Rob Caravolo, CEO of the airline, the largest commercial operator of Cessna EX seaplanes in the world, would also be in St. Maarten, along with Mr. Ritzi and others, for the presentation of which Mr. Connor spoke. The mid-week event was the 2nd Annual Caribbean Aviation Meet-up.

The release further stated: “During the event, a factory-new seaplane will be flown in from Tropic Ocean’s base of operations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for demonstrations splash landings in St. Maarten, Anguilla and Nevis.”

The release quoted Mr. Ritzi as saying: “The Meet-up will be a platform for improving travel and tourism in the islands of the Caribbean. Reliable airlift is the key to connecting the islands and tourists, and serves as a strong contributor to economic growth in the region that we are happy to be part of.”

Tropic Ocean Airways was started in Florida in 2009 with one Cessna 206 seaplane. The airline has now grown to a fleet of eleven aircraft. There are plans for an additional five aircraft within the next twelve months.

By anguillian June 20, 2017 12:32


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