Main Shareholder LIAT Needs to Address the Issue of Increasing Airlift Fast!

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

It’s always very difficult to write about LIAT with absolute authority, because despite the Barbadian taxpayer being the single largest shareholder in the airline, the public for years has been denied sight of any business plan or annual audited accounts. During the recent spat with a clearly dissatisfied customer, the involvement of Sir Richard Branson and the worldwide attention this generated, LIAT fought back by posting two videos on their website, which have been subsequently removed. Perhaps on reflection, it was thought that it was more productive to address the issues, ie: the complaints, rather than battle with someone that has indefatigably demonstrated they are masters of media exploitation.

What really surprised me in one of the videos, were the numbers quoted by the Director – Commercial and Customer Experience, who stated that the airline operated ‘approximately 100 flights each day’ and carried around ‘3,000 passengers daily’. According to Planespotters, LIAT currently has a fleet of 14 active passenger aircraft with various seating capacities from 37 to 68, but collectively totalling 685. So what immediately stands out is, if the overall numbers are correct, then the average sector flight carries only 30 passengers. That equates to what could be up to 19 empty seats on each flight overall, across the fleet.

Continue reading

Hotelier Paints Bleak Outlook

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

There is a very fine line, when writing a column like this. The risk of being branded as a pessimist is high. I only hope that readers will focus on the message that is trying to be conveyed and perhaps apply some of the content objectively to look at issues in a broader more holistic way.

When I heard the Minister of Tourism recently predict that he anticipated long stay visitor arrivals in 2013 should reach the same levels as last year, frankly I was surprised. Look at our largest single market, the United Kingdom has already experienced a decline of 15,631 visitors in 2012, when compared with 2011.

In the first week of May, Virgin Atlantic brought forward from October 27 their planned change of aircraft on the Gatwick/Barbados route by substituting the larger B747 aircraft with smaller A330 equipment on each day of the week, except for Thursdays. This immediately cuts up to 1,134 seats weekly and by the end of December this year I estimate to be almost 40,000 seats lost. Put another way, we will lose airline capacity for nearly 23 per cent or around one in four of all our British land based arrivals annually, which in 2012 totalled 173,519 persons. It is also not unreasonable to conclude that at least 50 per cent of those lost seats could have been used by the largest tour operator into Barbados, Virgin Holidays.

Continue reading

30 Airlines Predicted To Go Bust By Christmas:Will Tourists Soon Have To Walk To Get To Barbados?

Derek Larkins, fourth from right, led the 11 holidaymakers who took a stand when they were asked to pay twice for their rooms

Band of rebels: Derek Larkins, fourth from right, led the 11 holidaymakers who took a stand when they were asked to pay twice for their rooms-Source: Mail online

Britons stranded in the Caribbean by the collapse of XL Leisure mutinied after a hotel tried to make them pay twice. Instead of helping them arrange flights home, they say, managers at their Barbados hotel seemed more concerned that they were not going to be paid by XL. They told the 11 Britons to pay again if they wanted to continue their stay.
Read full article in the Mail Online

There is a furious war of words raging between Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Airlines and Willie Walsh who is CEO of British Airways (BA). The cause of the disagreement between the two airline heavy weights is the accusation by Sir Richard that Walsh is massaging passenger figures to lend weight to the pending deal to create a major alliance between BA and American Airlines. Barbadians like many others around the world are more familiar with the adventurous Sir Richard. However Willie Walsh is no sneeze. His track record has as a highlight the turning around of Ireland’s Aer Lingus airline in 2001, which he took over one month after 911. His appointment to take the top job at BA should concern Barbadians because of the airlift it provides between Europe and Barbados. If we are not mistaken Europe is our second biggest market.

Today (13 September, 2008) Willie Walsh predicted in the aftermath of Britain’s third largest holiday company XL that 30 airlines will go belly-up before Christmas. This is a revelation by an airline insider which should give Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy an instant migraine. In recent days we have had the announcement that British Telecommunications giant will be slashing 1200 in the Caribbean. One day later, Walsh CEO of British airline giant BA announced 1400 voluntary redundancies – a pity Cable & Wireless has not pursued a similar approach. Continue reading

Richard Branson: Life At 30,000 Feet

Richard Branson is the man behind the Virgin brand, one of the world’s richest and very successful individuals. Barbadians know him well because he spends a lot of time here on the island. How many people know that he had to overcome the challenge of being dyslexic?


Truly an inspirational story!

Sit back and turn up your speakers and listen to a man that BU truly admire.

About this Talk

When Richard Branson was at school, his headmaster predicted he would wind up either a millionaire or in jail. Since then, he’s done both. Here he talks to TED’s Chris Anderson about the ups and the downs of his career, from his multibillionaire success to his multiple near-death experiences, from Virgin’s line of spacecraft to the failure of the Virgin condom. He also reveals some of his (very surprising) motivations.

Richard Branson bootstrapped his way from record-shop owner to head of the Virgin empire. Now he’s focusing his boundless energy on saving our environment. Read full bio »

Source: TED

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.434662&w=425&h=350&]