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Nov 22, 2021

Alaska Air Offers New Connections for Pacific Northwest Travelers

Belize is making it easier for U.S. visitors with the new direct flights by Alaska Air from Seattle, Washington. These will connect tourists on the U.S. most northwestern seaboard to Central America twice a week. The inaugural flight coincided with the November nineteenth festivities and ceremonial drumming was held at the Seattle airport and upon the flight’s arrival in Belize. Marion Ali was a part of the media on hand at the P.G.I.A. and files this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

The water salute for Alaska Air’s first ever flight to Belize which touched down on Friday set new hopes for Belize’s tourism industry as the country resets and welcomes tourists from new locations. This new arrangement will see two non-stop flights from Seattle, Washington to Belize each week.



After the aircraft cleared the runway and taxied to its designated stop on the tarmac, its pilot waved a Belizean flag through his window, symbolic of the anticipated friendly ties Belize and Seattle will enjoy through tourism.


The arrival was marked by ceremonial drumming in observance of the public and bank holiday in Belize – Garifuna Settlement Day. Representatives of the two parties toasted to a long service through this new-found arrangement.


On board were more than one hundred and fifty passengers and crew members who departed Seattle enroute to Belize. While they seemed appreciative of the homely greeting at the PGIA, they also received an equally warm send-off from Seattle with a special treat.


Networking Strategist for Alaska Air, Kevin Lemme says Belize was the destination they were looking for.


Kevin Lemme, Networking Strategist, Alaska Airlines

Kevin Lemme

“Every winter we want to add a new sun destination and we’re looking for one that we think our guests will enjoy the west coast as well as one that we think we can have a good impact to the community that we’re serving and Belize really fit that model for this winter.”

But for a small country like Belize with limited funds and competing for tourism dollars in a world of fierce competition this was not an easy feat, Tourism Minister, Anthony Mahler explained.


Anthony Mahler

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism

“It’s a long process, negotiations, discussions, a lot of marketing effort has to be put into it, and so over time we have built a good relationship with a lot of the airlines. As you can see, most of the carriers that we had pre-COVID are back and now we’re adding new carriers to Belize. We have a strong Airline Development Committee that goes after the airlines and negotiates and work towards building new routes.”


While we build new routes, Mahler explained there is a balancing and protecting lives and livelihoods as we navigate through the COVID onslaught, but a key component act is the importance of getting the masses vaccinated and abiding by the safety protocols.


And right in tandem with not only Belizeans’ but also the visitors’ wishes is the ease on the hours of the curfew that become effective tonight. If we can keep our COVID infection rate to nearly insignificant numbers and our curfew hours to a smaller period, then we can expect to hear the words of CEO in the Blue

Economy and Civil Aviation, Kennedy Carillo echo as we welcome more of these flights to Belize.


Kennedy Carillo, CEO, Blue Economy & Civil Aviation

Kennedy Carillo

“I say today, Alaska meets the Belize Barrier Reef; Alaska meets the Blue Hole; Alaska meets our beautiful archaeological sites and our beautiful tropical jungle. Alaska, welcome home.”


Marion Ali reporting for News Five.


Minister Mahler estimates that Alaska Air and other new flights the Belize Tourism Board is attracting to Belize will translate to us seeing around seventy million dollars more injected into our economy.


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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