The inaugural flight of a new aircraft route is always a historic occasion and local Ambergris Caye resident Rosie Syme shares her story of what it was like being one of the passengers on the first flight
“Taking a midnight flight from anywhere is never anyone’s favorite thing to do, but for me there was something special about this direct flight to Belize. I was so excited that I could get home on a short 5 hour flight, and everyone I spoke to felt the same way. There were many couples and families excited to visit the country for the first time and everyone was eager to arrive and get started on their days’ activities.
Checking in was a breeze – much better than I had expected considering the flight leaves from LAX and it was the holiday season. Many of the staff at the airport were surprised to hear Delta is now offering a direct flight to Belize. I guess that’s what happens when you’re on the inaugural flight!
Everything went quite smoothly on the flight. After takeoff the lights were dimmed and most people settled in for the night. Everyone seemed to have a full day of activities planned since the flight arrives in the early morning around 7:30am.
About a half hour before landing I watched the sun rising in the distance, the most beautiful bright orange sunrise I’ve seen, and began to look for signs of land below. Flying in to the airport we had a great view of mainland Belize – everyone exclaimed about how beautiful it was, and very green! As the plane made its way closer to the airport I could hear the excitement in all the voices around me. Everyone was rested up and ready to finally be in Belize.
As we came in to land I noticed fire trucks off to the side of the runway – how strange! But as we taxied towards the main building I realized that they were spraying the plane with water to create rainbows. It sure was a sight to see! And we were all welcomed by friendly faces and big smiles as the airport staff greeted us at the foot of the plane. Inside the immigration and customs area the steel band played Christmas music and we were all awarded certificates for being passengers on the inaugural flight.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience and I’m happy to be able to say I was on the inaugural flight.”
New Direct Flights to Belize from Los Angeles Celebrated
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Belize businesses were all excited about the recently launched Delta Airlines direct flight to Belize. The first flight arrived at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport shortly after 7:00am on December 21 and returned to Los Angeles at 10:30am. Pax (travel industry slang for passengers) were given a commemorative certificate of travel as part this landmark event.
A celebratory inauguration ceremony of Delta’s direct flight from Los Angeles to Belize was held at Goldson International Airport on Saturday, December 21, 2013. The ribbon cutting ceremony was done in the departure area and attended by Delta Airlines executives, Flight Crew, Belize Tourism Board and the Minister of Tourism and Culture.
Delta Airline’s direct, nonstop flight to Belize City takes approximately 5 hours and has made travel to Belize much easier, especially for those coming from the US west coast and their Canadian neighbors. With Los Angeles having a large population of Belizeans, the new fight will make it easy for them to visit family, friends and enjoy vacationing in their homeland. The flight is also a great gateway city option for North Americans travelers connecting from other cities, or Belizeans who wish to visit family on the west coast.
This new direct flight to Belize from L.A. is a celebration of 15 years and Delta´s commitment to service in the Central American Region. The flight is run using a 160 seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft and passengers traveling this new rout will also enjoy the benefits of the $229 million expansion of Terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport. The mufti-phase construction project is scheduled for full completion in 2015.
The new flight schedule is as follows:
|Los Angeles (LAX) at 12:20 a.m.||Belize (BZE) at 07:00 a.m.||Saturday|
|Belize (BZE) at 10:30 a.m.||Los Angeles (LAX) at 1:50 p.m.||Saturday|
|*Please note after time change in March the flight will arrive at 6:00am and leave Belize at 9:30am|
|*Always double check schedules with airlines to make sure you have the most current information|
After landing at Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize, Tropic Air makes it easy to get anywhere country wide with 11 destinations throughout the Country of Belize. Founded in 1979 by Johnny Greif III with just a single airplane and 2 employees, they now employ over 250 people and operates a fleet of 9 factory new Cessna Grand Caravans (208B) – Glass Cockpit, 2 Gippsland GA8 Airvans, and 1 Cessna 172. Visit the Tropic Air website to see their Belize destinations map.
All pictures below except last one © Belize Tourism Board with photography by Spoonaz
Picture of Inaugural Direct flight to Belize certificate from Ambergris Today article: Delta Inaugurates Non-stop Service Between Los Angeles and Belize.