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Jun 9, 2015

American Airlines Direct from LA to Belize

Belizeans as well as visitors can now take advantage of a direct flight from Belize to Los Angeles, U.S.A.  American Airlines will be servicing the new route with two weekend flights.  On the inaugural flight, passengers were thrilled that they would get to their destination in less time and hassle. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

On Saturday morning, American Airlines celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary of doing business in the Jewel with the inauguration of a direct flight from Belize to the LAX in Los Angeles, California. According to Country Manager, Luis Alpuche, it bridges the two cities and opens up Belize’s access to the U.S. west coast and allows for Belize to tap into the Asian market.

 

Luis Alpuche

Luis Alpuche, Country Manager, American Airlines, Belize

“Getting to this point was a long time realization and it is a great thing. In partnership with the B.T.B., government and all the marketing efforts and scheduling that goes on. And American is growing; American is a very dynamic company having merged with U.S. Airways, we’ve become the biggest and greatest airline and we are just adding routes. We think this is a wonderful opportunity not only for Americans, but also for Belize. We will be able to bring people all the way from the west coast; the whole of the west coast. We are looking even beyond the west coast; the Asian market is a very dynamic and fast growing market so it is placing ourselves at the right time and the right opportunity for Belize and also our customers.”

 

As passengers boarded the aircraft, we took the opportunity to speak with the many Belizeans who welcomed the flight as it cuts down traveling time drastically.

 

Iwanhi, Passenger

“What’s obvious, it cuts down on the time you travel and there’s less fuss. You don’t have to stop at one location, check your bags, take them to carousel, get on the next flight and hope you make it on time and don’t miss a flight. You go right into LA and that’s cool.”

 

Duane Moody

“So you think it is better for you?”

 

Iwanhi

“Way better. What took them so long? Congratulations American and congratulations Belize. I think this an absolutely great service that is well needed and long time coming. So have fun with it cause I know I will.”

 

Jury Perez

Jury Perez, Passenger

“This is my second time traveling and this is my first time going to LA. And I will go meet my family for the first time.”

 

Duane Moody

“You think it is better because it cuts the time that you will be up in the air?”

 

Jury Perez

“Yes, I think so.”

 

Duane Moody

“Would this now have you want to travel more to the U.S.?”

 

Jury Perez

“Oh yes, I like to travel so yes.”

 

Maureen Fairweather

Maureen Fairweather, Passenger

“Because it is direct, you don’t have to do a check in; it is a much easier travel. For me, it is a much easier travel. When I get to my destination, then I worry about customs, about immigration and all that. So it is perfect for me.”

 

According to Acting C.E.O. in the Ministry of Tourism, Abil Castaneda, the new route is a testament of the long-standing relationship between the airline and the government and the vision for the local tourism industry.

 

Abil Castaneda

Abil Castaneda, Acting C.E.O., Ministry of Tourism

“I think there is no real coincidence that we are doing it in 2015, American Airlines’ twenty-five year anniversary here in Belize. Similarly, here for us, I think it is no coincidence that this year we are celebrating in San Pedro fifty years anniversary in the start of the tourism industry there. So our successes in San Pedro and throughout the country has been because we have enjoyed great partnership with organizations like American Airlines. And the reason they have been so successful is because they share the very same principles and values that we share. From a Belize perspective, we want to ensure that our guests and visitors have a safe experience; they have an enjoyable experience, a convenient experience, a quality one.”

 

The flight will leave twice a week, on Saturdays and Sundays, and will be available during the summer months and then it will be restarted in November and December for the Christmas holidays. Duane Moody for News Five.

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