U.S. Embassy Bridgetown launches Aviation Working Group to support improved regional air travel

Today, U.S. Ambassador Roger Nyhus to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean announced that Embassy Bridgetown established an Aviation Working Group to promote enhanced air travel and regional economic development. Ambassador Nyhus met with all seven of the prime ministers of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, and then brought together the team of professionals from the Embassy to handle aviation and economic development.

In his remarks, Ambassador Nyhus stated, “We envision a vibrant, interconnected Caribbean where improved air connectivity is a cornerstone for prosperity and equitable development.”

“Barbados’ and the Eastern Caribbean’s economic growth and sustainability are being impeded by the absence of a strong and affordable interisland aviation network. By bringing together specialists and working with local partners, the U.S. Embassy Aviation Working Group hopes to leverage the best of the American aviation industry and discover practical solutions that will facilitate air travel in the area and perhaps save costs. All residents and companies in the area should be able to anticipate high-quality aviation transportation.

On May 23, during the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) global supply chain event in Bridgetown, Ambassador Nyhus called a panel discussion titled “Pathways to Improving Intra-Regional Air Transport Connectivity in the Caribbean – Industry Perspectives.” The discussion of important topics for improving regional air links in the Caribbean, such as liberalizing air services agreements, private sector involvement in airline expansion, creating a competitive cost environment, and addressing high taxes and fees, was led by industry experts and other leaders from the region and aviation community.

Additionally, he lauded the UNCTAD meeting as a vital forum for paving the way for additional multi-destination, multi-country aviation itineraries, which are essential to the Caribbean’s tourist and commerce industries.

Following his initial meetings with the foreign ministers, presidents, governors general, and prime ministers of the seven Eastern Caribbean nations, Ambassador Nyhus formed the U.S. Embassy Aviation Working Group. The purpose of the Aviation Working Group is to examine long-standing obstacles to the establishment of dependable and efficient air connections among the nations of the Eastern Caribbean and to suggest private sector efforts and solutions from the United States to advance the region’s aviation industry.

“The UNCTAD conference served as an excellent platform for the United States to convene our Aviation Working Group team with prominent figures in the industry to discuss promoting private-sector involvement, reinvigorating government involvement, and eliminating bureaucratic obstacles to local travel.”

Ambassador Nyhus has twenty years of expertise advising big U.S. and foreign airlines, such as Alaska Airlines and Hainan Airlines. She was the CEO of a consulting business before entering the travel and tourism industry.

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