#TurksandCaicos, June 2, 2021 – Three thousand travellers passed through the Providenciales International Airport and that count was from just two days during this Memorial Day holiday weekend for Americans; acting CEO of the TCI Airports Authority Floyd Ingham confirmed that airlines on Saturday and Sunday were estimating 75 to 80 per cent load factors.
Images of the overwhelming crowds of tourists pouring into the Arrivals terminal were bitter sweet; a reminder that Turks and Caicos remains a highly sought after destination and further proof that the PLS is simply too small.
It continues to be the case that the major carriers are arriving and departing within the same window and an expansion of the airport concluded just seven years ago, has seemingly under-estimated what half a million guests through the Provo airport would need in order to be comfortable and covered.
The situation at the airport is also complicated by the Covid 19 Health procedures regarding flights; passengers are expected to be pre-screened before disembarking on Saturday there was reportedly some inconsistency in the protocol.
A call to confirm whether there was indeed industrial action by Immigration officers went unanswered by the Minister. However, our newsroom is informed that outstanding pay led to the go-slow which exacerbated the wait time for guests who had to stand in the hot sun with physical distancing protocols flouted and near to impossible.
We have reached out to the Deputy Governor about the alleged industrial action and the staff shortage for border services; read her response in our Page 4 report.
Meantime, the good fortune in long stay tourism arrivals for Turks and Caicos is about to bound further. June is expected to bring even more air arrivals with new flights including one from New York and a return of British Airways.
Mr. Ingham also updated, that the Grand Turk airport is back to normal – able to accommodate all its regular flights.
When we checked the outgoing travellers from Turks and Caicos between Thursday and Saturday – it was 4,583; a figure captured by the antigen tests on the TCI Health dashboard which are required for all departing guests to the US, Canada and UK.