The Adrian Loveridge Column–Growing Our Relationship With Caribbean Airlines and Partners

With any number of uncertainties there can be very few other businesses like airlines which present a constant indeterminate challenge. It seems a twinkle ago since massive controversy hit the media over the sale […]of the valuable Heathrow

slots by the now defunct BWIA for what many felt was an under-valued GB Pounds 5 million to British Airways in 2006.

In 2011 the current Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Kamela Persad-Bissessar commissioned a forensic management audit which concluded that a fair market value for the slots then ranged from GB Pounds 23 million to GB Pounds 44 million in a report dated 8th May 2012. Then with a blaze of glory in 2012 it was announced the replacement Caribbean Airlines was going to return to London, but this time flying into Gatwick.

Last week according to Airways Caribbean Airlines (CA) will return its Boeing 767 fleet to lessor ILFC (International Lease Finance Corporation) during the first quarter of 2016, axing the Gatwick route and these aircraft will join the Air Canada Rouge fleet soon after.

This year, the airline has already returned two Boeing 737-800 aircraft with two more that are set to go soon. This will reduce the fleet to twelve B737s while retaining all five ATR 72 equipment.

Since the re-birth of the carrier, it has been difficult to follow what if any substantial part they play in supplying airlift to Barbados, specifically for inbound tourism and I probably am not alone into thinking ‘we’ as a destination do not have the best of working relationships with them. Can this be changed or improved on specific routes, perhaps with a Barbados/Fort Lauderdale service or would this further alienate the existing legacy and low cost airlines?

With lower fuel costs and operating costs out of Fort Lauderdale airport this may offer a more competitive route than a Miami, especially if Caribbean Airways could smart partner with other US based low cost carriers to offer attractive seamless connecting cities.

And, as well as the obvious domestic (Continental North America) possibilities, could we use such a service to grow more arrivals out of Europe?

Norwegian Airlines fly non-stop from Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen to Fort Lauderdale. Imagine if Caribbean Airways code-shared with this aggressive low cost carrier. Norwegian has already shown a commitment to the Caribbean with new seasonal services from JFK, Baltimore and Boston to Guadeloupe and Martinique starting in December. An arrangement with CA could provide a litmus test vehicle to test the interest in other regional destinations.

As they say ‘a world of possibilities’.

To combat the falling value of the Canadian Dollar we had planned to launch an attractions/activities/car rental version of our re-DISCOVER voucher which would exclusively offer ‘Canucks’ a ten per cent discount on strictly direct bookings. Sadly of over 100 tourism entities contacted only a total of five agreed and making it simply not financially feasible.

We have not yet seen a decline in Canadian visitors this year but if there is any indications travel from Canada to the United States is down substantially. Maybe if this trend continues to affect other destinations our industry might re-visit the possibility of inclusion.

10 thoughts on “The Adrian Loveridge Column–Growing Our Relationship With Caribbean Airlines and Partners

  1. Adrian, Air Canada are promoting return flights to RIO for $800 Cdn. Brazil is a country that has had a larger currency drop against the Barbados dollar (US$ fixed peg) than the Canadian dollar has had. South America to Canadians is the new Caribbean. Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil are all places not effected by the US$ strength and offer amazing value to Canadians.

    I think you should publish the 5 car rental companies who are interested in doing business in a manner that keep tourism viable to Canadians.

  2. Tourism planners at BTMI in Toronto ( I hope ) watch TV and read newspapers.

    The Canadian economy is in or near to a recession and there is a Federal election campaign in full swing. The Canadian dollar is $1.52 bds.

    It is reasonable to expect that there will be a drop in arrivals this coming season.

    The BTMI will have to work hard to get the “richer” Canadians to vacation in Barbados.

  3. Mr. Loveridge, I agree with many of your articles but you seem to be “boosting” the Trinidadian version of LIAT… despite a national subsidy (no, that has not been terminated, according to the same politician in charge who had announced its end more than a year ago) CAL still charges a range of fares which are higher than its competitors, and still have punishing routings to a number of islands.

    CAL cannot even seem to serve its sister island Tobago properly, so they are unlikely to serve the rest of us “foreighers” any better.

    Given that many tourists in North America and all of the travellers in the Caribbean are extremely price-sensitive, it is logical that the carrier which will serve us best – and so deserve our support – would be the one which is competitive on price.

  4. Although attracting tourists from extra-regional countries should be our main focus, I believe that Caribbean tourism authorities should also look promoting inter-regional travel as well.

    “Bimjim” was correct in mentioning “CAL still charges a range of fares which are higher than its competitors, and still have punishing routings to a number of islands.” I have experienced similar difficulties and inconvenience with LIAT’s service to Anguilla. LIAT often schedules flights from Barbados to Anguilla costing as much as BDS$822.46, but there are no return flights displayed on their web-site.

    For example, I wanted to visit Anguilla from August 27 to September 1, 2015, my flight schedule would be as follows:

    Barbados/Antigua return = $1,086.66
    Depart Barbados on Thursday, August 27 – L I 362 @ 8:20 am – arrive Antigua @ 9:45 am

    Antigua/Anguilla return = $565.80
    Depart Antigua on Friday, August 28 – LI 368 @ 4:50 pm – arrive Anguilla @ 5:30 pm
    Depart Anguilla on Monday, August 31 – LI 369 @ 5:55 pm – arrive Antigua 6:35 pm

    Depart Antigua on Tuesday, September 1 – LI 771 @ 5:30 am – arrive Barbados @7:45 am

    The next flight from Anguilla to Antigua is on Friday, September 4, since LIAT services this route three days per week (Friday, Sunday and Monday), with one flight each day.

    This trip would cost me $1,652.46.

  5. Hi bro artexeres. Noticed you seem to be running out of steam of recent.maybe old age.or yuh once bright star has burned out.recently I notice yuh tackling soft issues. So wuh happening wid Clico

  6. Maybe we are expending too much energy in an entirely useless debate over the topic of returning the LIAT and CA black hole, money sinks to profitability. Perhaps we would be much better off in the long run studying how we will replace LIAT’s and CA’s soon-to-be obsolete flying machines with a fleet of 1920’s to 1950’s style inter-island, sailing schooners and figuring out how we will make our living after the era of mass tourism is over, which might be sooner than we think:

    True Believers
    by James Howard Kunstler

    The truth is the shale oil industry couldn’t make a profit at $100/barrel. The drilling and fracking boom that began around 2005 was paid for with high-risk, high-yield junk bond financing and other sketchy, poorly collateralized financing. Most of the earnings in the early years of shale oil came from flipping land leases to greater fools. Now that the price of oil has fallen by more than 50 percent in the past year, the prospect dims for that junk financing to be repaid. Since that was “bottom-of-the-barrel” financing, the odds are that the shale producers will have a very hard time finding more borrowed money to keep up the relentless pace of drilling needed to stay ahead of the short depletion rates. They are also running out “sweet spots” that are worth drilling.

    We will look back on the shale oil frenzy of 2005 to 2015 as a very interesting industrial stunt borne of desperation. It gave a floundering industry something to do with all its equipment and its trained personnel, and it gave wishful hucksters something to wish for, but it never penciled-out economically. Shale oil production turned down in 2015 and the money will not be there to get the production back to where it was before the price crash. Ever.

    Some additional uncomfortable truths should temper the manic fantasies of hypsters like Mauldin. One is that we are no longer in the cheap oil age. All the new oil available now is expensive oil — whether it’s Bakken shale or deep water or arctic oil — and it costs too much for our techno-industrial society to run on. That is why the world financial system is imploding: we can’t borrow enough money from the future to keep this game going, and we can’t pay back the money we’ve already borrowed. We have to get another game going, one consistent with contraction and with much lower energy use. But that is not an acceptable option to the people running things. They are determined to keep the current matrix of rackets going at all costs, and the certain result will be very messy collapse of economies and governments.

    Industrial economies face a fatal predicament: Oil above $75/barrel crushes economies; under $75/barrel it crushes oil companies. We’ve oscillated back and forth between those conditions since 2005. The net effect in the USA is that the middle class is rapidly going broke. All the financial shenanigans aimed at propping up Wall Street and Potemkin stock markets was carried out at the expense of the middle class, now deprived of jobs, incomes, vocations, stability, and prospects. They may already be at the point where they can’t afford oil at any price. That “energy deflation” dynamic, in the words of Steve Ludlum at the Economic Undertow blog, is a self-reinforcing feedback loop that beats a path straight to epochal paradigm shift: get smaller, get local, get real, or get out.

  7. Telegraph Caribbean Travel Awards: 2015 winners

    Best Destination for Family Holidays

    Winner: Barbados
    Runner-up: The Cayman Islands

    Best Destination for Activity and Adventure Holidays

    Winner: Cuba
    Runner-up: Barbados

    Best Destination for Weddings and Honeymoons

    Winner: Barbados

    Runner-up: Jamaica

    The winners of the inaugural Telegraph Caribbean Travel Awards were celebrated at the annual Caribbean Ball on Thursday evening. Organised in partnership with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the awards aim to highlight the diversity of holiday experiences on offer across the region, with thousands of Telegraph readers voting for their favourite islands and hotels across 10 different categories.

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