March 28, 2023 -ORANJESTAD–After nearly 10 years of negotiations and preparations, Aruba Airport welcomed the first British Airways flight last Sunday. British Airways will fly from London Gatwick Airport to Aruba twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, with a stop in Antigua.
British Airways will be flying to Aruba throughout the year with a Boeing 777-200ER equipped with 336 seats, providing 32 Club seats, 52 World Traveler Plus seats (superior economy class), and 252 seats in the economy section.
The European market currently is served by Royal Dutch Airlines KLM and TUIFly Holland, both operating from Amsterdam, and TUI Airways with seasonal service during the summer only from London Gatwick. Aruba is the only Dutch Caribbean island to have a direct connection with the United Kingdom (UK).
With this achievement, the Aruba airport continues to further develop in the UK and by extension the European continent and the Caribbean.
“This is yet another achievement for Aruba’s tourism industry with a permanent service between London Gatwick Airport and Aruba,” said Aruba Airport Authority CEO Joost Meijs. “The introduction of this direct service is a goal we were working towards, and it is wonderful to see how the efforts to develop the service are paying off. In a very competitive sector, it is essential to have a direct service throughout the year and with easy connections from large markets. This is a team effort, and I am convinced that it will be a success.”
The British Airways flight not only provides regular services from the UK to Aruba, but the stop-over in Antigua also opens up the route between Aruba and Antigua. Plus, one of the advantages of London Gatwick Airport is that it has its own train station which connects to more airport stations in Europe.
Sunday’s inaugural flight was met at Aruba’s airport with the customary water spray by the Fire Department and, after connecting to the jet bridge, the captain opened the cockpit window, waved and displayed the flags of Aruba and the UK.
Officials of British Airways, the Aruba Airport, the Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) and the Aruba government cut the ribbon as well as a large cake to celebrate the first flight.