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Dec 24, 2013

Delta’s inaugural non-stop flight to Belize

For the first time ever there is a red-eye flight to the Jewel and it comes courtesy of Delta Airlines, after much planning and meetings between the airline company and Belize’s Airline Development Committee. But, in addition to that, the flight also goes down in history as the first direct flight from Los Angeles to Belize. The new flight schedule was inaugurated this past Saturday as passengers traveling on the flight were honored with certificates. News Five’s Duane Moody was there and has a report on the event.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Say goodbye to connecting flights when traveling to L.A…..that’s because, as of this past Saturday, courtesy of Delta Airlines, a direct flight from Los Angeles, California to Belize and back was installed into flight schedules. The first ever red-eye flight to the jewel arrived at seven-thirty a.m. after some four and a half hours of airtime. And by ten-thirty a.m., was back in the air en route to the western state in the U.S.

 

For its arrival, there was a traditional welcome which featured the aircraft being sprayed by water courtesy of the national fire service. After landing, the crew, Delta executives and B.T.B. representatives gathered in the departure area to celebrate the inaugural flight; cutting the symbolic ribbon.

 

Delta’s Regional Manager for the Caribbean, Maria Fernando Price says that the flight is expanding Delta’s connectivity.

 

Maria Fernando Price

Maria Fernando Price, Delta’s Regional Manager for the Caribbean

“For us Belize is a logistic important location within Central America and we would like to continue joining efforts with the authorities. This new flight is the result of having worked diligently with the Belizean Tourism Board in New York when we first sat down to explore new opportunities. And it is also the result of the acceptance and the support that we’ve received from the country and from the government to continue growing. So for us, this is just the beginning of many other good news that we will have in the future.”

 

Many persons, Belizeans and foreigners, had been asking for a direct flight to the jewel from L.A. and according to the passengers, they were elated about the new flight, which is very convenient.

 

Passenger, Delta Airlines

“The flight was excellent coming in. It was on time, it was nice and smooth; we really enjoyed it.”

 

Reporter

“How was the flight ma’am?”

 

Passenger, Delta Airlines

“Excellent. Lovely staff, everybody was very helpful.”

 

Reporter

“Now it’s a direct flight from Belize to L.A.—the first of its kind here in the country—how does it feel?”

 

Passenger, Delta Airlines

“I think that’s excellent for you guys; it’s a plus. Any time you can make a direct flight from anywhere—less connections—it is better for the travelers.”

 

For Belizean Natalie Smith and her family, it makes it much easier for them to travel back home to visit with friends and family.

 

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith, Passenger, Delta Airlines

“Ih mi really easy just getting from L.A.X. and just going through the security and getting on the plane and next thing you know we are here. Sleep all the way through and you know get to enjoy Belize again.”

 

Reporter

“Regardless of the fact that it is an overnight flight?”

 

Natalie Smith

“Yes it was. Probably more than likely today I’ll be very tired but after that, good to go.”

 

Reporter

“I understand that everybody on the plane is getting a certificate. Tell us about that.”

 

Natalie Smith

“Yes. Well I didn’t even realize that it was the first flight. So I’m like what is this about and when I read it I was like oh, it’s the first flight woohoo.”

 

Reporter

“You think it is things like this is what other airlines might need to do to ensure that they provide the best customer service for travelers?”

 

Natalie Smith

“That, as well as, on the plane and stuff I didn’t even realize  that they would provide blankets and stuff, so I packed blankets for my daughter and stuff. But they provided blankets and it was cool. They made sure the AC was working and everything, so it was a very nice flight. It really was.”

 

Reporter

“And of course it cuts down the traveling time.”

 

Natalie Smith

“Definitely. Definitely yes.”

 

And according to Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Junior, this project was made possible through the Airline Development Committee that invite airlines to travel to Belize and connect through Belize. Heredia Junior says that it will boost tourism.

 

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“As we all know, there are thousands of Belizeans living in L.A. There are people that want to fly from other parts that will have to go to Miami, Houston, or Atlanta. Now, they will be able to fly direct from L.A. to Belize. And for the industry over here, I think it will be something great because as I mentioned in my speech, it will connect the Asian market also to L.A. which they have big connections between L.A. and Asia so that will be another step closer for the Asians to come to Belize.”

 

Each passenger received a certificate for flying the inaugural route with Delta. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

One hundred and fifty passengers arrived on the Delta flight from the U.S.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Delta’s inaugural non-stop flight to Belize”

  1. Alexandre de Mahieu says:

    Good news for a lot of people, but Europeans are still waiting for a direct flight also.

  2. Uncle Benji says:

    “L.A. and Asia so that will be another step closer for the Asians to come to Belize.” Manuel Heredia Jr.

    Did you hear that Castro? Big time visa hussle. Gawd, your breathing becomes difficult when you hear those words from Heredia. Asians mean money under the table. Doesn’t it?

    Go boy go. One for you and one for Dean Ali BaBa-rrow. Way to steal. Go man go.

  3. beliezean says:

    and i’m still waiting for Taca
    after Taca sold to Avianca the change all the good flight
    i wish we can get copa to belize but no one want to deal with beautiful belize

  4. True Belizean says:

    Uncle Benji, you are a REAL JACKASS….dumb people like u just look to push cheap shots for God knows what agenda….u should be happy Belize is growing and not being stagnant anymore

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