On November 14, American Eagle announced the discontinuation of its ATR prop-plane service to Marsh Harbour in exchange for its jet service on Nov.15.
Approximately 25 passengers were given a red-carpet greeting by American Eagle employees and Tourism officials in commemoration of the inaugural flight. As passengers neared the entrance for The Bahamas Customs and Immigration offices, they were treated to a brief reception with light refreshments prepared by Marisa Allen of Marisa’s Catering and the sounds of the legendary Estin “Music Man” Sawyer.
Kendy Anderson from the Abaco Tourist Office expressed her pleasure in this new venture by American Eagle and for their consideration of Abaco as a destination of choice.
Meanwhile, Renardo Curry, Member of Parliament for North Abaco, was given a tour of the aircraft and greeted those returning to Miami, who were seated comfortably on board. Mr. Curry also congratulated American Eagle for its confidence in The Bahamas’ tourist market, and noted that their upgrade in service is the beginning of something special.
Mr. Curry added that as the new airport terminal nears completion, he hopes that the service also attracts local support for American Eagle.
Outfitted with GPS system, the entire route from Miami to Marsh Harbour was featured on the navigational display inside the cockpit. Additional features include roll-away aircraft stairs and a conveyor belt. Passengers enjoyed the 40-minute flight over to Abaco; however, the jets only have 44 and 50-seat configurations while the turboprop aircrafts offered 64 seats.
Presently, American Eagle offers daily flights to Miami, and on the weekends two flights are offered. With the new jet service to the island, domestic and U.S. passengers are also hopeful about the introduction of additional routes by the company, but for now, Miami remains its gateway to the world.
Bridgette Reckley, station manager for American Eagle, said they are looking to increase and update the schedule to two flights daily when more equipment becomes available, but that move is not expected to take place until 2013.
“A lot of them are premium passengers and repeat customers for Abaco, so they’ve flown the jets in other areas like Chicago and Atlanta,” Reckley shared. “They were impressed that it’s landing now in Marsh Harbour for the first time.”