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Leaders of hospitality and global business associations in Bermuda have welcomed the news that British Airways will switch London gateways to Bermuda from Gatwick to Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 from March 28.

The agreement, announced yesterday by BA and the Ministry of Transport, followed discussions between BA and the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Bermuda Airport Authority, Skyport Corporation, and air-service consultants Ailevon Pacific.

Representatives of the island’s major industry groups applauded the accord, noting London’s biggest airport offers the island a wealth of new and diverse connecting routes that will stimulate leisure and business travel.

BA will be flying Boeing 777-200s on the route.

Aaron Adderley, president of Skyport Corporation, said: “Skyport recognises the value of the British Airways London Heathrow service for Bermuda and the potential it has to significantly stimulate air connectivity to and from Europe. “This new daily 777 service will clearly encourage Bermudian tourism and international business travel, with further benefit to the Bermudian economy. It is truly a landmark achievement and we are pleased to have worked closely with BAA, the BTA and the Bermuda Government to bring this opportunity to fruition.”

Stephen Todd, chief executive officer of the Bermuda Hotel Association, said: “Our members are pleased to learn that Bermuda’s primary airlift connection from the United Kingdom will move to London Heathrow next spring. This gives Bermuda an excellent opportunity to expand our outreach to attract a greater number of UK-based and European visitors via this gateway connection. It also provides greater connectivity to Bermuda at a time when we are seeking to reach a broader cross-section of international travellers and capitalise on the island’s growing reputation in this pandemic as an exceptionally safe destination.”

John Huff, CEO of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, said: “The change to London Heathrow will be a tremendous benefit to Bermuda’s international companies using London as the travel portal to the EU. Avoiding the Gatwick-to-Heathrow shuttle on continental European travel will be a real time and expense saver for business and tourist travellers.”

Richard Winchell, CEO of the Association of Bermuda International Companies, said: “Our island’s economy depends on international connections and we are very pleased this change has been negotiated. Heathrow is the base for many long-range international carriers and offers improved access to the world and links to London. This is very helpful to Bermuda, our residents and our international business sector.”

Sylvia Oliveira, chairwoman of Bermuda International Long-Term Insurers and Reinsurers, said: “Biltir applauds the Bermuda Government’s efforts to secure a direct flight between Bermuda and London Heathrow. This new route will improve Bermuda’s international connection and support our members in bringing more business to Bermuda to support the local economy.”

Greg Wojciechowski, CEO of the Bermuda Stock Exchange, said: “The value of securing the convenience of flying into Terminal 5 for onward connections to other business centres on the Continent, as well ease of access to central London, cannot be overstated. This gateway opens Bermuda’s nexus to Frankfurt, Zurich, Geneva, Munich, Amsterdam, from my perspective, along with onward connections to Africa and the Middle East.”

Kendaree Burgess, CEO, Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are pleased to hear of the switch to London Heathrow from Gatwick. We believe the change will positively impact the number of leisure visitors to our shores and will be more convenient for business travellers moving to and from European gateways. We look forward to hearing more details of the change.”

Roland Andy Burrows, CEO of the Bermuda Business Development Agency, said: “We welcome the change and opportunity of the BA flight moving from Gatwick to London Heathrow, particularly at a time when international travel has been significantly reduced. There are a number of benefits, both for Bermuda-based businesses and the global clients we serve.

“Not only is the airport closer to the city itself but as the major air hub in London for international passengers, it will be even more convenient for those who are currently able to fly from across Europe, Asia and the rest of the world to connect with and do business in Bermuda. The strength of the government’s response to Covid-19 has meant Bermuda is safe, open for business and actively welcoming visitors. This move adds to Bermuda’s standing as an accessible and globally connected jurisdiction.”

Jo Stanton, vice-chairwoman of ILS Bermuda, said: “We are excited the flight is moving to BA’s Terminal 5 at Heathrow, which has excellent facilities for both leisure and business travellers. Heathrow has much needed connections to markets that are crucial to our industry in Europe, Asia and Australia, as well as seamless transfer to central London — which will be further enhanced when the new Elizabeth line comes into operation.”

The original article can be found here.

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