RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to get people on a flight to the Bahamas.

“We always start out with sun, sand and see but I think what’s tantamount above all of that is a culture the friendliness,” Bahamasair Deputy Managing Director, Prince Storr, tells CBS 17.

Getting to the islands will be easier now with a nonstop flight from RDU to Freeport, Grand Bahamas twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays. The inaugural flight took off Thursday afternoon.

“The Bahamas has 16 destinations within one destination and this flight eliminates the hassle of travel. There’s one, two hour flight and you’re in the sandy beaches,” said Latia Duncombe, Acting Director General for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation.

Duncombe and Storr say there’s a lot of value in investing in the Triangle.

“We’re growing on many fronts and so this is one of the markets that we’re going to be entering in that we’re going to explore. There’s a large diaspora coming through here in Raleigh. We have a very good relationship so when I go to Saint Augustine University,” said Duncombe.

Freeport is RDU’s seventh international destination. Bahamasair is the third new airline to begin service at RDU in 2022. The likely won’t be the last new carrier. Potential routes and carriers are a secret but RDU is in talks.

“I will tell you’ve had some very meaningful conversations with lots of carriers but there’s a little bit more work we have to do on our side,” said Michael Landguth, President & CEO of RDU.

Landguth says as the area grows in population and economy, it becomes more attractive for businesses. They’re making improvements to accommodate for their own growth.

Part of that work involved enhancing the passenger experience as they arrive in the airport like more security check point and ticket islands. Expanding the gates would come later time, Landguth said.

“We’re really planning for the future because we see constant growth in the community. It’s very very exciting for us. And we want to make sure we provide the infrastructure and for the citizens here in the region,” said Landguth.

In the meantime, Bahamasair is also growing and RDU as a jumping off point.

“We’re looking to branch out into further Richmond, Virginia. We’re looking into the northeast corridor,” said Storr.