The Adrian Loveridge Column – WOW!

Wow AirI make no apologies in returning to airlift this week because, it is one of the most critical factors in our overall tourism success or failure. Take the United States as a classic example. After over a decade of near stagnation in arrival numbers, new partnerships and existing ones are forged and ‘hey presto’ we experience an increase of 25 per cent in American visitors.

While I have mentioned Iceland before, the low cost carrier WOW Air, have now introduced long haul aircraft, in particular the Airbus 330-300 initially for their North American routes, but are more than capable of covering the 3,957 miles (3,438 nm) from Keflavik to Barbados or roughly eight flying hours.

During the remarkable performance of the Icelandic football team at the recently concluded UEFA Euro2016 competition we were reminded many times that this nation only has a population of around 330,000 people. Yet WOW Air are on track to carry a staggering 1.6 million passengers this year, or more than double the number carried in 2015.

Using the WOW Air route network it could help open up new visitor markets for us, including Berlin, Vilnius, Warsaw, Dublin, Salzburg, Milan, Rome, Lyon, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

If the airline could partner with other carriers flying into Iceland then there is also the possibility of adding Madrid, Vienna, Halifax, Portland, Riga, Zurich, Nuuk (Greenland), Bergen, Budapest, Antalya (Turkey) and Bremen connecting through Keflavik airport to Barbados.

And personally I don’t think we have to even worry about trying to create the maximum seamless connections. For decades, Iceland as a destination has proven to be masters at creating stay-over packages, giving the ever more demanding traveller a wonderful option of two entirely distinctive experiences, yet within one holiday duration.

According to Iceland Review Online, the airport processed a record 188 flights and 32,000 passengers on a single recent Sunday and a media spokesperson for the airport operator, Isavia, stated ‘it will be close to 7 million passengers by the end of this year’

The CEO and sole owner of WOW Air, Skuli Mogensen, was recently in Ireland exploring the possibility of a second operating base at Dublin airport to expand their transatlantic routes. While airports, especially Government operated ones are almost overwhelmingly trying to extract higher and higher passenger fees, Dublin intelligently have capped their charges at Euro 9.87 per person, giving airlines and tour operators an added impetus to introduce new routes.

As the effect of Brexit is still largely unknown and with the United Kingdom, apart from Scotland, levying what still remains the single highest departure tax anywhere in the world. It will be interesting to see how UK legacy carriers like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic respond in respect to moving operating bases. Virgin’s recent order for twelve new A350-1000 aircraft clearly demonstrates they are in transatlantic long haul market for many years to come. Will they be based at Gatwick or Heathrow or maybe to remain competitive with low cost carriers like WOW Air and Norwegian, forced to move north of the border or relocate to Ireland?


23 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – WOW!”

  1. TINGS DAT RING BELLS July 25, 2016 at 7:09 AM #

    Adrian Loveridge there are times when I believe you know more about our tourism that those in tourism themselves – meaning the section of government that handles tourism. Perhaps we need to look at that little revelation and get you in a position to help the island with proper decisions so that systems can be put in, such as you so knowledgeably put forth above, in order that we can be assured to have not only extra-regional (I see the rest of the world as extra-regional, after all we one earth, just one solid planet of countries) but inter-regional flights available to all of us. We are so backward in this respect and LIAT just does not cut it. We know it does not but, as the taxpayers pay in more ways than one for their ignorance about how it is all done, they shall continue, I assume, to fly the skies of the Caribbean inefficiently as always with top heavy management as per nusual. What a shame that Red Jet had so much nonsense thrown their way, all now so we would have plane loads of us moving all over the world and the world moving towards us, perhaps at the same low costs that Easy Jet et al are able to do successfully in Europe, not only cost-wise but service-wise. Been on them and my experience has been just fine. No thrills – just get me where I gine on time or at least nearly on time and not days later! LIAT got the no frills right that is for sure, the rest is left to whatever.

    Problem with our little island Mr Loveridge is that when someone speaks right, dem not right! And so we move at snails pace with ’nuff stress all around.


  2. David July 25, 2016 at 7:12 AM #

    There was a time when Adrian was on the BTA Board. The rest as they say is history.


  3. chad99999 July 25, 2016 at 8:53 AM #

    I would be worried if Adrian or his closest friends were calling the shots for the tourist industry. Like most self-interested businessmen, Adrian seems to want the government to foot the bill for costly tourist infrastructure and marketing, but he noisily objects to any taxes imposed on hotels and airlines to recover these costs. That means he wants the general taxpayer to subsidize the tourist industry, even though people like him are already far better off than the average Barbadian.
    Then there is the fact that he has this irrational obsession with “airlift”. In this day and age when every destination, and nearly every hotel, has its own Web site, travellers interested in visiting Barbados will make inquiring hits on airline and travel sites.These are measured, so if there is interest in Barbados, airline executives and planners will take note and provide the airlift to take advantage of actual or potential demand. That is their job, just as it is the job of many hotel executives in multinational companies to find interesting places to build new hotels. They will consider destination attractiveness and cost factors in making their decisions.
    In tourism, demand therefore creates supply much more reliably than the other way around. Barbados doesn’t do a good job filling the planes that already come here everyday. But Adrian is spending his time trying to arrange more (half-empty?) flights.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bobmac July 25, 2016 at 11:20 AM #

    An interesting observation in regards to low cost carriers, especially WOW.Does the writer believe that passengers headed to Barbados really want to make a side trip to Iceland enroute? The flight from North America is long enough and from Europe even longer. As interesting as Iceland may be, if you are headed to Barbados that is where you want to be as quickly as you can. I doubt also that in most cases they would be any less then some of the fares currently offered.


  5. Adrian Loveridge July 25, 2016 at 11:38 AM #

    Bobmac, Sadly not all our visitors can get a nonstop direct flight. otherwise we would not
    attract visitors from the Pacific US and Canada or eastern seaboard of Canada. This is looking for additional markets and the easiest way of getting them here. If we wish to get back to Scandinavian arrival numbers of years ago and we cannot attract or maintain direct nonstop flights from Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Stockholm (and many others) what is the next best option? In my early days in travel, a Iceland stop-over was a great attraction to many, especially if the airfare was lower.


  6. Adrian Loveridge July 25, 2016 at 11:53 AM #

    If I want to fly from Oslo to Barbados the current shortest journey time is 27 hours and 50 minutes via SAS/Virgin through Gatwick. From Keflavik (Iceland) to Oslo is 1,108 miles, Helsinki 1,527 miles, Copenhagen 1,330 miles and Stockholm 1,350 miles. ALL less than 3 hours flying time. As pointed out Keflavik to Barbados is 8 hours flying. So it is a practical option.


  7. chad99999 July 25, 2016 at 12:46 PM #

    Why is Adrian focused on the possibility of a trickle of tourists from tiny Norway when he is ignoring the Chinese already flying into Havana? China has a potential market a thousand times the size of the Norwegian market.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bajeabroad July 25, 2016 at 12:50 PM #

    Totally agree with Chad……It’s purely a business decision Adrian. If there was tremendous demand and interest for Barbados, then more airlines would be scheduling flights to Barbados. In business as you know the demand dictates the supply. In today’s business environment where detailed marketing and demand data is possible, global travel business already knows which areas are hot versus not. Any additional supply would suggest some sort of subsidy (not my tax dollar) to maintain as the pre-cursor demand is evidently not there.

    Just like vinyl was replaced by technology, we have got to stop harping on old metrics and approaches to be competitive in the new world. When Barbados can create interests for the modern traveler, then demand will increase and then the airlift conversation would be moot.

    Until then, the airlift conversation in isolation is an academic exercise only

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bobmac July 25, 2016 at 1:56 PM #

    Mr Loveridge: Why do you use the longest flight routing from OSL to BGI, to attempt to prove your point? You know that there is a routing from Oslo that is under 14hours using Lufthansa and Condor , and there are other routings under 14hours. Using extreme examples does not help your position.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Adrian Loveridge July 25, 2016 at 2:33 PM #


    I clearly stated Oslo to Barbados and not Barbados to Oslo where shorter connections are available (14 hours plus). Clearly we are using difference search engines, but would be happy to retract if you can post the flight routes and dates of travel in the direction I indicated.


  11. chad99999 July 25, 2016 at 3:37 PM #


    Why are you ignoring our comments and criticisms? You only want people to pat you on the back and tell you what a genius you are? Get over yourself, man. Answer your critics!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bobmac July 25, 2016 at 3:45 PM #

    Adrian: Check out Condor website, they show departures from Oslo connecting to themselves and direct to Barbados, flight time Oslo/Frankfurt 2.05 hours and Frankfurt/Barbados 11.22 hours . I did not include connection time in Frankfurt but would be under 2 hours. The flights operating on Tuesdays seem to be quite reasonable in cost.


  13. Adrian Loveridge July 25, 2016 at 4:30 PM #


    Interesting but Condor is classified as a charter airline and does not show up on Search Flight option sites. I also still cannot find any one city connecting flight Oslo through Frankfurt to Barbados on Tuesdays until 8th November. Before then, some show two connecting cities including St. Lucia and New York. Even if this is a real option there still is a flight time of 13 hours 27 minutes. I have left out wait time between flights because the same could be applied to Iceland. So flying time through Oslo/Barbados, Iceland would be 10 hours instead of 13 hours and 27 minutes and I think you opened with looking for the shortest journey time if I am not mistaken. WOW will also be a lot more price aggressive. You just have to look at their USA and Canadian flights to see that.


  14. Bobmac July 25, 2016 at 5:29 PM #

    Adrian: Firstly I doubt if there is a market from Northern Europe to Barbados in the summer, perhaps one flight a week. I understand that WOW offers some good deals, however comparing departing Toronto to Paris on the 01 Aug and returning 09 Aug on WOW the fare including one bag was 1075.90 . I adjusted the return date from the 8th or it would have been higher. The comparable fare on Air Canada direct was 1268.60 . The difference of less then $200.00 , not a significant amount when you consider the time involved.


  15. millertheannunaki July 26, 2016 at 9:36 PM #

    @ Bajeabroad July 25, 2016 at 12:50 PM
    “Just like vinyl was replaced by technology, we have got to stop harping on old metrics and approaches to be competitive in the new world. When Barbados can create interests for the modern traveler, then demand will increase and then the airlift conversation would be moot.
    Until then, the airlift conversation in isolation is an academic exercise only.”

    Excellently put!
    What would Icelanders and other people from such climes and cultures find interesting in Barbados other thanto lie on the beach soaking up the sunshine when they can travel to Cuba or some other more culturally interesting Caribbean destination?

    These people, generally, are not going to put up with garbage-strewn roads, poorly maintained visitor facilities and attractions, harassment from people on the beaches trying to rip them off or making sexual advances because they might be inclined to be in harmony with nature as is their habit and which the hypocritical natives deemed as offensive to their Victorian-cocooned prudish sense of decency.

    With the North African and ME former tourist hotspots now off-limits to many European travellers because of the rise of radical Islam and the ISIL jihadists, the Caribbean should be looking to attract more visitors from those non-traditional source markets.
    But can Barbados rise to the occasion and think outside the traditional tourism box?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. bookworm July 27, 2016 at 1:29 PM #

    Tourists still come to Bim because of the glamour that the name suggests. When they get here they are sorely disappointed.
    Other than sun,sea and sand what do we offer? A dirty litter strewn island with bad roads and crumbling historic buildings!
    You can get all of that in Cuba or Dom Rep for a quarter of the Bajan price.
    Hard times coming for Bim!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Due Diligence July 27, 2016 at 4:18 PM #

    June 27, 2016

    “What fallout?
    Sealy confident that UK visitors will still come

    It remains this island’s leading market for tourists, with officials reporting a ten per cent rise in arrivals during the first quarter of this year, making for 24 consecutive months of boom or 71,263 stay over arrivals out of the United Kingdom.

    However, as the result of last week’s UK referendum on membership in the European Union continues to sink in, there are growing fears of the impact on this island’s bread and butter tourism industry, even as Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy seeks to be the voice of calm in the midst of the global upheaval.

    Today, he sought to allay concerns that Britain’s pending exit from the EU, based on last week’s vote to leave, commonly referred to as the “Brexit” vote, might lead to “fallout” in terms of tourist arrivals from that territory.

    Speaking to reporters after a short tour of the Sam Lord’s Castle site, where demolition has officially started to make way for a new Wyndham Grand Hotel, Sealy suggested that the vote would not affect the island’s tourism.

    In reference to the fact that the UK was Barbados’ biggest source market, he said, “That is the case now, it was the case last week, and it will be the case next week, whether they are part of the EU or not”.

    He however acknowledged that the tourism industry was sensitive to currency values, pointing out that the pound sterling had always been a “fickle currency”, as it fluctuated quite often.

    “These issues are not necessarily new. To be frank I am just happy that some sense of closure has been brought to this issue of whether they’re in or out. And, the truth is that Barbados has to do what we have to do. The brand is extremely strong in the UK and that is not going to change, and we have to continue to work hard,” the Minister of Tourism underscored.”

    July 27, 2016

    Seems the fallout has started

    “ROYAL WESTMORELAND has sent home 19 workers as it feels the pinch of expired contracts and a weaker British pound.

    Now faced with “a marked slowdown in property sales activity”, the St James-based luxury residential and golf resort has decided to take on “the exchange risk” in an effort to attract foreign home buyers.

    These developments were confirmed by Royal Westmoreland chief executive officer Greg Schofield and director of sales Kim Goddard.

    While denying reports that the company had retrenched 40 per cent of its staff, they told the MIDWEEK NATION they had to cut staff at a time when the market for their properties had softened.”

    Not clear what is meant by “the St James-based luxury residential and golf resort has decided to take on “the exchange risk” in an effort to attract foreign home buyers.”

    Is Royal Westmoreland going to sell in GBP instead of US$?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Due Diligence July 27, 2016 at 5:34 PM #

    Just stumbled on this March 2015 article.

    “Yours for £75million! Barbados resort where Made in Chelsea stars holiday and the Rooneys own a villa goes on sale”

    Just wondering if John Morphet found a buyer who is cutting costs to help the cash flow.

    Or did he not find a buyer and is cutting costs to make the development attractive to potential investors?


  19. chad99999 July 27, 2016 at 10:34 PM #

    I would guess that both the Central Bank and the Ministry of Tourism have economic models that can give reasonably accurate forecasts of the magnitude and timing of the decline in UK tourism expenditures on the island that can be expected in the coming year as a result of the falling value of the pound and the likelihood of a recession in the UK.
    We should be hearing from the forecasters. The minister is just a politician trying to prevent panic.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. bookworm July 29, 2016 at 5:14 AM #

    @ chad
    “I would guess that both the Central Bank and the Ministry of Tourism have economic models that can give reasonably accurate forecasts of the magnitude and timing of the decline in UK tourism expenditures on the island that can be expected in the coming year as a result of the falling value of the pound and the likelihood of a recession in the UK.”

    You mekin sport! This would mean that the Central Bank and Ministry of Tourism know what they are doing, and doing it well. You really believe that? Really?


  21. David July 29, 2016 at 5:25 AM #

    The following article about the state of economic forecasting by the Central Bank of Barbados is useful.



  22. Bush Tea July 29, 2016 at 6:49 AM #

    Wunna can’t tell when Chad mekking mock-sport ….?


  23. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right INRI July 29, 2016 at 8:31 AM #

    @ Chad one less than 100k

    You said and I quote “Adrian,

    Why are you ignoring our comments and criticisms? You only want people to pat you on the back and tell you what a genius you are? Get over yourself, man. Answer your critics!”

    De ole man get a reputation heah pun BU as a cyber bully and based on the number of endorsements by other people here, um has got to be true.

    I ent so sure Chad bout these legal terms but I does speak of visible patterns and mention what I see and let the chips fall where they may.

    Bush Tea commented here earlier and 99% of the places where Bush Tea comments and a few other people, I does go to cyberstalk.

    I do not go to Sand Nigger or Freedom Crier I is an ingrunt man and I doan unnerstan that socialism gobbledygook

    To understand why Adrian engages the way that he does is to understand Lawson and Money Brains and others, you sir brought viable counters to his edicts and you sir will be ignored because ” you are not on the registry of those allowed to enter” into discussions with the “sole progenitor of tourism alternatives”.

    But soft awhile.

    In your July 25th post you make the most cogent point of all that solidifies that subtlety of perspective when as underscored by another poster’s insight into time to destination, you spoke of China’s proximity, it’s wealth and suggested quite reasonably that they would be an equal, rather wiser harvest.

    Again your point was ignored and maybe in such subtlety of encounter and dismissal of you and the Chinks, maybe you Chad can find the underlying reason for Loverige’s ignoring your reasonable point a reason like “I do not want chinks in my hotel room beds” a reasonable position don’t you think considering what chinks do!

    De ole man does doan only try to read between the lines of these articles ammmmm de ole man know one body who works at the loverige plantation, sorry establishment.

    We cannot see the citadel walls that this tourism industry is building around us Bajans, shutting out our access to our beaches like Gabby sang awhile back, and making us prisoners and slaves on a new plantation where massa has Brexited from the motherland and again is establishing new footholds in our cuntry where more of his ilk get appended to his workforce because “there have been no suitable candidates found for the job..”

    But I gone cause Bush Tea gone and I going to see who else I kin cyber bully


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