Wednesday, July 31, 2013

L.F. Wade International Airport sees 20,000 passengers over Cup Match week

While many will be heading to St George’s for the cricket, the Cup Match holiday also sparks a mini-exodus from the island.

Thousands will take advantage of the four-day holiday to travel to the UK and the US for a short break.

Wednesday’s BA flight from LF Wade International to Gatwick is a sell out, with hundreds heading to England. Most of the departing flights bound for US gateway cities on Thursday including Miami, Boston and New York are either sold out or nearly full.

But there are still seats left on the international flights bound for Bermuda. Airport manager, Aaron Adderley, told the Bermuda Sun that Cup Match was the busiest travel period of the year: “We can expect 15,000 to 20,000 passengers collectively arriving at and departing from LF Wade International over the Cup Match holiday week.

“This by far surpasses the passenger totals that we would see over the Memorial Day or 4th of July holiday weekends and during Christmas week for example. Much of this obviously has to do with the fact that we have the combination of seeing thousands of visitors coming in, and a considerable number of residents going out.”

British Airways confirmed that all flights leaving Bermuda this week are full. A spokesperson added: “The Cup Match period is always busy for British Airways.

Flights this week to London are extremely full with many residents and their families taking the opportunity to travel over the long holiday period.

“At the same time there are many Bermudians and local residents who wish to fly back to the island for the much anticipated festivities so flights arriving inbound from London are also very busy.”

Meanwhile, travel agents have also been dealing with a flood of holiday requests from islanders in the last few weeks.

Gary Kent-Smith from Worldview Travel told the Sun: “I would say there is more of an exodus of people from Bermuda than an influx of visitors over Cup Match. That really started in the late 1960’s when Saturday became a public holiday and people could take advantage of having four days off work.

“There are a lot of residents trying to get out of here on Thursday bound for places like Miami, New York and Boston.

“And I would say that the average American tourist would not travel to Bermuda over Cup Match because many places are closed unless they have some kind of ties with the island.”