Mr. Thomas also was positive about the opportunities to revive tourism, citing the strength of the sector in the 1960s and 70s. He added that the country had more to offer than just tourism, and that it has put tax incentives and other inducements in place to attract manufacturing facilities.
While encouraging large corporations to explore opportunities in Haiti, the consul general also said that there would be roles for small- to medium-sized companes to play.
As an example, Paul Anderson, a biomass energy consultant and developer of a clean-burning stove, was taking the flight to promote his technology in the country.
The flight also was boarded by youth from the Bemus Point, Ill.-based Christian Services International organization. The youths were headed to Galette, Haiti, to help a construction crew building a new school.
Susan Judson, Delta’s general manger of hub operations; Candace L. Byrd, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s chief of staff and Louis Miller, aviation general manager, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, all spoke positively about the prospects for the flight.
Mr. Miller went so far as to say that he hoped as business ties grew with Haiti there would be as many as three flights a week in years to come.
Ginou Oriol, a Haitian singer who lives in Atlanta, sang spine-tingling versions of both the U.S. and Haitian national anthems with many of the Haitians present joining in.
The Haitian Consulate General is located at 2911 Piedmont Road. Mr. Gandy may be reached by calling (404) 228-5373