Antigua and Barbuda has opened what it calls one of the most modern international airports in the Caribbean. The 23,000-square-meters new terminal more than doubles the capacity of the adjacent previous terminal, making way for an increase in passenger use of the V.C. Bird International Airport as an all important airline hub, and gateway to the Eastern Caribbean.

There are four jet bridges, and a state of the art baggage sorting and scanning system. With faster immigration processing times, user friendly innovations and features, the near US$100 million terminal that opens for operation on August 24, will greatly improve the visitor experience, according to the Tourism Authority.

For those departing, there are 46 check-in counters and 15 self-check in kiosks. A bigger departure lounge, multiple gates and an enhanced shopping and dining experience.

There are three new lounges: A VVIP lounge, a VIP lounge and an Airport Executive Lounge.

The facility was funded by a China EXIM Bank concessional loan, and by a Chinese Government Interest Free Loan, and has also been specially designed with elevators, escalators and ramps, to serve the travel needs of passengers requiring special assistance.

For the upcoming winter season, JetBlue Airways will begin direct service to Antigua from New York’s JFK International Airport on November 5. In December, Alitalia will begin weekly service from Milan, and Seaborne Airlines will begin direct service from San Juan.

The V.C. Bird International Airport currently offers service to more than fifty destinations worldwide on Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Condor, Delta Airlines, LIAT (1974) Ltd, St Barth Commuter, ABM Air, Thomas Cook Airlines, Tradewinds Aviation, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways and WestJet.

The new terminal will operate 24 hours a day. The previous terminal building which processed over 860,000 passengers per year, will continue be used partially for administrative purposes.