Tag Archives: Aviation

Tomas Chlumecky: LIAT should tell the truth

Editor’s Note: This article was written prior to the recent announcement that David Evans had been hired as LIAT’s new CEO. Will the change at the top make a difference? The rot goes deep, as this article by Tomas Chlumecky shows…

LIAT late

As LIAT continues to drain tax payers money, is it not time for the tax payers to ask for action and accountability from their politicians?

As an Airline Consultant, I thought I have seen it all, but LIAT is a very special case indeed. Experience shows that companies in decline MUST replace some of the people responsible for the decline, these people lead the company to its current position and are incapable of the mind set needed to make fundamental changes to the strategy they so blindly believed in that created the crisis in the first place. They may not see it, but they block any real changes because they are bent on defending the dying cause, therefore they need to go!

When will the Board realize that the Chairman of LIAT, Dr. Jean Holder and once again Acting-CEO and CFO Mrs. Julie Reifer-Jones are failed leaders that have led LIAT to where it is today? Any reasonable Board by now would have requested their resignation.

Recently LIAT blames the “summer meltdown” on its inability to sell its DHC-8 aircraft because they do not have the records for the aircraft up to date! One year after ordering the ATR’s and knowing full well they needed to sell them with records up to date, just the fact the records are not up to date is NOT acceptable. If they flew with records not up to date the then ECCCA needs to step in investigate. Just horrible management.

Next, the people of the EC are being told the new ATR’s are more economical and that is why LIAT went out to buy and lease 12 ATR’s. This is non-sense. The 8 ATR-72′s will cost about $US1.4 million lease payments per month! The 4 ATR-42′s being purchased cost $US 74 million at list price, so what LIAT did was substantially increase it lease obligations and debt at a time it has little money, pays salaries late and cannot even keep its maintenance records up to date. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

LIAT Statement On Barbados Free Press Blog Post

DHC-8-300 Dash 8 LIAT V2-LGI

LIAT Statement On Barbados Free Press Blog Post

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Jan 21 2014 – LIAT (1974) Ltd. has taken note of the post, dated 17th January 2014, in the Barbados Free Press online blog of an Article entitled “Report of Conflict of Interest: Saint Vincent PM Ralph Gonsalves said to own 2 LIAT aircraft”.

The anonymous author concludes that “The conflict of interest arises because SVG is one of the major shareholders in LIAT. Government funds are involved and Prime Minister Gonsalves is heavily involved in decision making about the airline”.

The two aircraft mentioned in the article are owned by a publicly listed US based Leasing Company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). LIAT has always had arms length negotiations with this Lessor and its relationship with this Lessor is firmly set on a commercial basis. LIAT has no Aircraft Leases with Prime Minister Gonsalves or any shareholder of the Company and categorically denies the suggestion that the Prime Minister has anything to do with the leasing of aircraft to LIAT. LIAT views conflict of interest very seriously and abides by principles of good corporate governance.   Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Politics

Model airplanes master builder discovered!

Battle of Britain Bf109E

The Art! The Art!

Okay, okay, so I’ve gone overboard on the title, but the fellow who runs the Amateur Airplanes blog does some fine fine work.

Look at that battle weary Bf109 Emile above and the detail on the F100 Super Sabre cockpit below.

You know I love airplanes – big, small, real, homebuilts, warbirds and models – so when I stumbled onto Amateur Airplanes I lost a half an hour just flipping through the projects and comments. There’s no word on who this chap is, but you can see the dedication and talent – and he has over 1,500 followers.

I don’t see a DC-3 like the old one I learned to taxi with at Druxford, but this modeller could duplicate every ding and oil streak. All I’d need would be the smell of air petrol, oil and metal – and to hear the tinks as the big old P&Ws cooled. The only additions I’d like to see on his blog would be a search function in the menu, and perhaps a tag list of aircraft types and model kits.

If you enjoy airplanes, you’ll enjoy a tour of Amateur Airplanes.

10/10

Robert

F100 Super Sabre Cockpit

click photos for larger

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Island Life, Military

An open letter about LIAT to Prime Ministers Stuart, Spencer and Gonsalves

It’s often cheaper to charter an executive aircraft than to fly LIAT!

To:
Hon. Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados
Dr. Hon. Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda
Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent & Grenadines

Gentlemen:

by James Lynch, Twotter pilot extraordinaire!

by James Lynch, Twotter pilot extraordinaire!

Because of my Petition (about LIAT on change.org), I have been contacted by several prominent people, some of them hoteliers in the smaller islands, who are now ACTIVELY seeking alternatives to LIAT’s services for the foreseeable future in protection of their businesses.

It is my considered opinion – supported by many others, including those with similar decades of aviation experience in the region – that unless the owners/shareholders of LIAT make SWEEPING and DETERMINED changes in the way LIAT is run then the travellers of the region WILL find alternate ways of getting where they are going.

The recent month-long “meltdown” LIAT has undergone (which is in part still going on, by the way) has amply demonstrated to those who were inconvenienced that, in the long run, it is actually cheaper to charter an aircraft for a group of five or six people and know for sure that – upon arrival from the other continents – a means of travel will unquestionably be there, and that their baggage will accompany them, than to be stranded in an unfamiliar place for three days (or longer) without baggage, without connections, and without a reliable way to get where they want to go.

I would like to see LIAT continue to serve the eastern Caribbean and the reliable, and be the trusted carrier it can be, but decades of lack of serious political interest in the health of LIAT has now resulted in avery real possibility of its demise.

Years ago LIAT’s conversion from Avro to Dash-8 held no horrors. Yet this fleet conversion from Dash-8 to ATR has been horribly mismanaged and that the CEO is out of his depth. It is also publicly apparent that the Chairman and Board approves of the way CEO Captain Brunton has mismanaged the entire situation.  Continue reading

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Insanity? Raw piloting talent? Pure flight?

DC3 Dakota Barbados

I once did a downwind low and over pass in a DC-3 at Duxford and at the end of the runway pulled up into a hammerhead, did the deed, dropped the gear and greased it for the second finest landing I’ve ever done.

I am nothing. I am not worthy to polish this man’s shoes.

You want to talk pure flying? You want to talk what it is to be a pilot who feels the wind and judges his path by trained instinct and minute feelings unknown to the ordinary ground-bound human?

This man is insane – but he is the best pure pilot I’ve ever seen….

Robert

Dak photo courtesy of Dan Gryder

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Aviation expert: Loveridge wrong about LIAT’s aircraft choice. ATR is the answer for the Caribbean.

ATR-600-Caribbean

“The ATR is an airplane that is built for fuel economy. Given that fuel is one of the 3 largest portions of an airlines annual operating budget this is a big deal.”

by PltFlyng

After reading BFP’s “What’s with LIAT’s choice for new aircraft?”, I have to conclude that Adrian Loveridge might be a tourism expert – but he is no aviation expert and that is certain. Let me give you some enlightenment on the aircraft choice here in question.

For one the Caribbean market is a small and fragmented. Experience has shown that the 50 seat size is about the largest size of aircraft that is sustainable on inter-regional routes. Even so there are many routes which will struggle to fill 50 seats. This is why for years LIAT continued to operate 3 Dash 8-100s. With 37 seats they could provide route frequency on certain lower density routes and still maintain high load factors. Any time you are flying around with empty seats its bad for business and flying around below your breakeven load factor just means that segment is losing money and being subsidised by other routes.

Herein lies the inherent problem with the Q400. It is a 70 seat aircraft.

Additionally it is also a turbo-prop designed as a light jet replacement what that means is that yes, while it is fast it achieves this speed by giving up fuel efficiency.  The break even for an industry standard Q400 on the high density low cost Indian and European markets is approximately 57 – 60% It is estimated that in the higher cost operating environment in the Caribbean the breakeven load factor for the Q400 would be in the range of 66 – 70% which means you would need to fill 45 – 47 seats approximately on average just to break even. This would prove difficult in the current travel climate in the Caribbean.

The other problem with the Q400 is airfield limitations. Some airfields in the LIAT network would require the aircraft to be weight limited for departure due to the field length or the proximity of terrain and obstacles or tailwinds. St. Vincent is not the only consideration. This means possibly cutting some services (Nevis for example) and that you would be limited as to how many passengers and bags you can carry out of some places.

For this trade off what does the Q400 bring to the table? Effectively nothing.     Continue reading

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About REDjet: False hope and nonsense from PM Stuart

REDjet is dead, dead, dead – and it’s not coming back

by Robert

If the Prime Minister of Barbados is going to speak, please let him speak the common sense truth – and if he doesn’t, will the news media please call him on it?

On Sunday, PM Freundel Stuart (photo above) told a Democratic Labour Party meeting that the government “has not turned its back” on REDjet, and that the government would review the company’s books prior to making a decision about the airline.

This kind of ‘happy face’, deflecting statement is normal in Bajan politics to keep the PM or other big ups from having to say negative truths in public. It is a political strategy to keep the public from associating negative events with the leader. The problem is that the public becomes so used to hearing this kind of cow dung from our leadership that we too begin to accept it as ‘normal’.

It’s time we had leaders who just spoke the truth. Bajans can deal with the truth. We’re not children.

In the case of REDjet, everybody who has anything to do with Caribbean aviation knows that airline is dead, dead, dead. The airplanes are out of service (they were the wrong choice for the mission anyway), the ground and flight staffers are long gone and most important: whatever trust, goodwill and brand value that REDjet developed in its short life evaporated like a puddle of spilled Jet A fuel on a hot day. People are still waiting for refunds that will never come and they aren’t about to take another chance.

Killing the Vampire

The staff at the governments-owned Caribbean Airlines called REDjet a ‘vampire’ for sucking the passengers and cash from Caribbean Airlines in such troubled times. Now that REDjet lies in its grave, the surviving airlines are making sure that a couple of wooden stakes are pounded through its heart. They are determined that this phantom should never rise again. Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados revoked REDjet’s licences and after it ran into trouble and if the airline tries a return you can be sure that the company and staff will have to jump through all the hoops once again when it comes to licensing. It’s not going to be “Oh, you’re back. Here’s your papers.” That will be six months gone.

Unlike our Bajan babysitter, the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines told it like it is. Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said he had no intention of getting involved in the any action to save the REDjet, explaining, “REDjet is privately owned, Caribbean Airlines (CAL) is owned by the governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, LIAT is owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines”.

REDjet is dead, dead, dead and Prime Minister Stuart should be saying that truth to Bajans and to foreign investors suckers seeking to revive the airline.

Any investors foolish enough to try to revive REDjet will be most disappointed because it always ends the same way when private business tries to compete with businesses run by the government.

Further Reading

The Nation – PM: Door not closed on REDjet

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Politics

REDjet debacle shows CARICOM is a sham

“What has been dished out to RedJet is shameful. I bow my head in that shame. I truly now know that CARICOM is but a sham and obviously just a ploy for Heads of our nations to get together and feed their egos.”

by Rosemary Parkinson

The reception that RedJet has received from our so-called- unified-by-CARICOM governments has been to say the least based on protectionism for LIAT and Caribbean Airlines. RedJet were doomed to fail if Caricom Heads did not put the necessary openings in place. The Barbados government was also a tad unhurried in getting RedJet the necessary support and I am not talking investment. There was no need at the time for this – those behind RedJet saw a niche, did their homework and were well-prepared to give the people a low-cost airline. This is where I smell a rat because these businessmen would not have gone through with their plans had they not been given certain assurances…by certain people…or at least that is my belief. I could be wrong, this could be an assumption.

We the people, however, embraced RedJet, welcoming this opportunity for the Caribbean region to be more integrated. Vendors could now move back and forth and make a living. Artistes from all areas of the creative arts had an opportunity to truly know our neighbours and earn extra dollars. Families and friends could now travel easily. Regional tourism had been finally given the push it required. Regional business at all levels could now afford visits to their partners rather than just telephone meetings. Most importantly RedJet gave an opportunity for food and goods to be moved between the islands – a huge plus for us the people as we sought to reduce our import bills from the north.

RedJet was people friendly and had one and only one vision…to give the people (I said the people) of the Caribbean an airline that cared cost-wise. Naturally making ends meet and profit would have also been a priority. But digging out the eyes of their own people was not. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, CARICOM

RedJET benefiting from hidden fuel subsidy?

Who are RedJET’s shareholders & investors?

By “Jay Jay”

LIAT  is struggling to survive against Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines which is getting the, possibly illegal, benefit of subsidized jet fuel.

Now, LIAT is getting competition from RedJet. Nobody appears to know who are the investors in this company are, but there are strong rumours that a major shareholder in the airline is also a major shareholder in one of the islands biggest suppliers of fuel, also supplied at cost price. Who could that be, and is that legal?

We are all shareholders in LIAT. Our ministers need to look in to this situation.

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Murderous North Koreans mourn Cubana Flight 455, ignore their bombing of Korean Air

No tears for Korean Air Flight 858

“The story of Kim Hyon Hui, the beautiful North Korean agent who planted the bomb, is truly compelling. You see, she once lived in Cuba where her father was the North Korean Ambassador to Cuba…”

On Thursday, October 6, 2011 our Barbados diplomats in Cuba stood shoulder to shoulder with the North Korean Ambassador at a memorial service in Havana for the victims of Cubana Flight 455.

I have to wonder if anyone at the service was thinking of how North Korean government agents planted a bomb on Korean Air Flight 858 and murdered all 115 people on the airplane in 1987.

What do you say to the Ambassador of a country that murdered children flying home to see their parents? What do you say to the Ambassador of a country that kidnapped people at random off Japanese beaches?

What do our diplomats talk about with the evil North Korean despots? The weather? Or perhaps “How are those executions by bulldozer coming along? Quite efficient, saving on ammunition like that. Would you like another glass of wine, Ambassador?”

North Korea’s leadership are truly evil, and I’m not just talking about a few big ups at the top. The evil permeates all the way down. Did our diplomats not feel just a little hypocritical as they watched the North Korean Ambassador lament the loss of lives on Cubana 455? I’d like to know.

If you don’t know about Korean Air Flight 858, you owe it to yourself to take a few minutes.

The story of Kim Hyon Hui, the beautiful North Korean agent who planted the bomb, is truly compelling. You see, she once lived in Cuba where her father was the North Korean Ambassador to Cuba.

From Wikipedia

Korean Air Flight 858

Kim Hyon Hui

North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, History

Without foreign technicians, Arab countries would revert to camels

Again I ask: Why can’t I hire a good plumber in Barbados?

by Robert

Long time BFP readers know that I (Robert) sometimes disappear for a few weeks or a month or two because I am what used to be called a “journeyman A&P” – in short, an aircraft mechanic for hire. (Aviation professionals around the world will cringe reading the word “mechanic” but I’m writing for a non-aviation audience and the gentlemen will understand I’m sure.)

There was a time when I made my living flying second and third seats on clapped out 727′s delivering cargo anywhere anytime but those days are past. Thank God I had my A/P, 727 and P&W tickets to fall back on because so many front office crew from that time (late 90′s) ended up selling life insurance or stocking shelves at the inlaws’ family fruit and veggie market. (No offense, but our old friend and Twotter pilot Jim Lynch is just one example of the industry carnage.)

I’ve done my share of work in the Middle East because it is lucrative – though stifling, boring and more than absurd in some respects. Try passing a tool or a part to an Arab with your left hand and see what happens. No wonder the Arabs are generally useless on the tarmac.

It’s a cultural thing, not racial, and anyone who’s worked in the Middle East knows about it. The Arabs are sitting on the bulk of the world’s oil, but if they didn’t hire outsiders to change the engine oil in their own equipment, every Arab Mercedes and Airbus would die within a year.

An old friend sent me this story because we’ve both “eaten sand” (worked the Middle East) – but as I read it I felt more and more uncomfortable. I’d never thought of certain similarities between the Middle East and another place, but as I read this piece I had to think about why I can’t hire a decent plumber in Barbados.

Maybe I’m carrying on because I’ve had a smash or two of Jack’s, but there’s just something eerily familiar about this article from Strategy Page. See if you can pick up on it.

Friends, you should go to Strategy Page to read the article, but just in case it goes down like the Nation, we’ll be reprinting it in full here.

Why Arabs Need Their Foreign Mercenaries

Saudi Arabia recently bought 72 Typhoon jet fighters from Britain. The manufacturer, BAE Systems, is energetically recruiting qualified maintenance personnel to keep these aircraft flying. Few Saudis will be recruited, most of these technicians will come from the West. Why is that? Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues

Miracle in Guyana: Caribbean Airlines crash could have been so bad

No fatalities, few injuries as 737-800 overshoots in rain.

Egos and macho fools in the cockpit.

by BFP’s Robert

Thank God there was no fire because according to the reports nothing else went right just after midnight when a Caribbean Airlines 737-800 slid off the end of the runway in the rain and broke up while landing in Guyana.

Cheddi Jagan International Airport is not a bad airport as the region goes. With over 7,000 feet of runway in pretty fair condition, the CAL Boeing 737 should have been able to land safely no matter the weather. The runway has an excellent friction coefficient (the surface is rough and grips the tyres), great drainage during rain and the approach is easy compared with many major airports (Try Newark for a thrill!). The newish 737 was light at the end of a flight from New York and should have been able to come in slow and easy, but…

but… all it takes is a combination of factors all coming together. I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that the weather was a little rough so the pilot added ten or fifteen knots because it felt good on approach. Then maybe he was a little high – it happens in the rain because rain changes the optics especially at night – then the wind backed and all of a sudden he’s floating down the runway and the sucker isn’t touching down. Go around or no? Yes? No? Might be okay?

Cockpit Culture is a Killer

Co-pilot starts sitting up, sweat starts, but he doesn’t want to say “Recommend abort” because some senior Captains get real touchy about some wet-behind-the-ears punk telling them they are a little high, long and fast. So the co-pilot said nothing until it didn’t matter anyway. The cockpit culture prevented him from saying something to save the day when they were floating down the runway eating up what little safety margin they had with only 7,000 feet.

I’ll guess again and say that they probably had auto-deployment set on the spoilers. This is a little killer that is supposed to make for smoother touch-downs and no-bounce landings. The moment the wheels take a little weight, out pop the spoilers to kill the lift on the wing and start to slow the aircraft. The problem is that auto-deployment removes control from the pilots and commits the aircraft to a ground roll and landing when someone in the cockpit might have changed their mind. Five seconds is a lifetime to retract the spoilers and get some lift going again.

So the Boeing floated for a bit – a little fast and a little high and then it touched down way too late.

And all of a sudden the aircraft is down and both pilots know it’s going to be close. Now that tyre on the starboard side that everybody decided was okay for a couple of more landings isn’t performing so well in the rain. The grooves are gone and with little tread it’s hydroplaning even when its mate is okay. Full reverse thrust – brakes doing their best and spoilers deployed to put the weight on the wheels – but reverse thrust is only a small part of what stops an aircraft. Any pilot will tell you it’s really all about the brakes and tires and pavement condition. Reverse thrust doesn’t count when the pucker factor is operating.

And momentum. It’s all about inertia and momentum and they lost. Truth be known, it was probably a done deal before the wheels kissed the wet pavement and both jocks were thinking “It’s probably going to be okay.” They didn’t want to be embarrassed by going around again, so they gambled and they lost. Fools. How embarrassed are they now? Macho fools.

Did they try and go around too late or not at all? I don’t know – but Thank God there was no fire because the smoke eaters didn’t arrive until ten minutes after the aircraft ran off the end of the runway and broke up.

Some of the passengers paid to take taxis back to the terminal after the crash. CAN YOU F**KING IMAGINE THAT?

Our friend “Tom” sent us a little message and he makes a major point about 250 hour co-pilots sitting in the right seat. Do you really think a 250 hour wonder will inform a 15,000 hour Captain that he’s a little high and fast? Shut your mouth! Not going to happen.

by BFP’s Robert

REDjet looking good!

by BFP reader “Tom”

Looks like some people might start flying REDjet after the big bully next door ‘scraped his knee’ … thankfully all are well on CAL708.

All of you who have any skepticisms i’m a Captain for a small airline in the Caribbean and have been working as an expat for 6 years. Put your misconceptions and pre-notions aside no matter how good the machinery and how great a reputation, we are all human.

I’m more than sure REDjet is fully capable of servicing their destinations with ontime performance and giving their customers a great service. Regardless even those with numerous aircraft will try and stretch schedules thinner and thinner to accommodate more destinations… money doesn’t grow on trees and fuel is costly, and a plane sitting on the ground isn’t making any money. Continue reading

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PM Stuart returns from China with spin but little real news or accomplished

“How many times does the government get to announce that an air deal with China is “coming” before it’s not news anymore?”

BFP reader WSD reacts to a Nation story about Barbados “making ground” in an air service agreement with China.

The return of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart ends yet another high-level government trip to China. Barbadians were treated to the usual same-old same old photos of our DLP or BLP representatives touring China and shaking hands with the big-ups. Have a look at past photos of Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and David Thompson hanging around with Chinese government officials and you’ll get what I mean. You could switch the heads around with Photoshop and with the exception of Mia’s big red dress, the photos are all the same image and the same story.

Show me the money!

Like the trips before, there was the usual announcement of another grant from China, this time about six million dollars if memory serves. When the money doesn’t come through (as with the promised library funding) we seldom hear about that. Neither is there much talk about the Chinese workers and companies getting construction contracts while Bajan machinery and hands sit idle. There is especially little talk of how Chinese computer hardware and programming companies are winning government contracts – which is an especially scary proposition for the Barbados offshore banking and insurance industry considering China’s propensity for economic espionage.

Nothing instills confidence and security in the financial sector’s computer operations like having Chinese routers! (Shhhhh!!!!)

The big article in the Nation is that the PM instructed our Ambassador to China, Sir Lloyd Sandiford, to give the air travel agreement with China “priority”. While such an agreement could provide valuable tourists and foreign currency, the BLP and DLP governments have dangled that carrot for five years or more and the hope is wearing a little thin.

But old story or not, that is the feel good article of the day at The Nation and it is designed to lessen the pain of the recent downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service. In many ways the stage was set for that downgrade by the spendthrift BLP Arthur/Mottley government but don’t expect Goin’ wid Owen or Mia to take any responsibility for weakening our foundations long before David Thompson was elected.

As to what Barbados should be doing, each one of us should be working harder, living smaller and doing our best to make every visitor feel like they want to return to BIM. That message isn’t getting out there from the government though, for as PM Stuart says, we’ve made a Chinese air agreement a “priority” and the downgrade is “no cause for alarm.”

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, China, Politics

Adrian Loveridge: REDjet shows Caribbean unity a pipe dream

The REDjet flap…

Adrian Loveridge - Small hotel owner

I would like to add my two cents worth if I may.

It is clear that the heady concepts of Caribbean unity and marketing the region as one are really just illusional pipe dreams. Ultimately, it seems each country is looking after its own interests. Caribbean Air Lines wouldn’t be in the position it is without massive fuel subsidies, LIAT would have failed years ago if again it hadn’t been for huge taxpayer support. Even now it defies commercial logic with the number of employees and the location of its operating base.

Maybe its time for REDjet to review its planned destinations. Montego Bay instead of Kingston, St. Maarten to break the near CAL monopoly and perhaps to look south to Aruba (low fuel costs) or Curacao. Of course San Juan would have been an obvious one if we had secured Category One.

I also think there is some way they could work with the cruise ships to open up the home porting possibilities for not just Barbados but other emerging ports. If they haven’t already done so, they should also be speaking with St. Lucia.

When the new SVG Argyle airport finally opens, things are going to change
and the St. Vincent Government are going to have to at least attempt to justify the airport investment costs and more than one million stated annual handling capacity.

I am also really surprised that with an veteran aviation expert on the BTA payroll that REDjet have found themselves in this predicament.

Submitted as a comment on BFP’s article REDjet Update: Political problems with Trinidad and Jamaica

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Politics

Trinidad & Tobago orders REDjet “Cease advertising immediately”

April 20, 2011

Trinidad & Tobago Civil Aviation Authority sends “Cease and Desist” letter

“No automatic right for REDjet to operate in T&T… Must comply with further licensing process”

People don’t take kindly when you make newspaper announcements that you’re coming for dinner, but you didn’t bother to inform the host.

That’s pretty well what’s happening in Trinidad & Tobago right now, and as much as I hope that REDjet does well – I totally understand the outrage felt by the Government and Civil Aviation Authorities in T&T.

Cart-before-horse REDjet infuriating T&T Government - Easier to obtain forgiveness than permission?

Our Prediction: No way that REDjet will be making that already announced May 8th first flight to Trinidad & Tobago. The T&T people will make sure of that just to get their point across.

I can’t figure out the reason for this strategy by REDjet, for this had to be deliberate. Any ideas from the cheap seats?

Robert

Further Reading

Guardian: REDjet’s May 8 flight in jeopardy

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

BREAKING: Doubts over REDjet Approvals in Trinidad and Tobago

T&T Transport Minister Jack Warner “in the dark”

T&T Civil Aviation Director “No permits issued.”

Breaking News: April 14, 2011, 11:42PM Bridgetown

This story is just breaking on the internet and there will be more to come when it all hits the fan in Bridgetown in the morning. The permits issue will probably resolve itself and calm down tomorrow – but right now it sure is interesting!

I’d like to follow the story but I’m dead tired and if I don’t pack it in I’ll be useless at work tomorrow so…

Here’s a start and our readers or others at BFP can pick up on the story as it develops. Comments are open!

“You know something, regrettably, I don’t have all the details of REDjet’s entry into Trinidad and Tobago. … I keep trying to know how it happened and why and so on. Be that as it may I want to believe that it is healthy competition and if REDjet coming to Trinidad and Tobago means that (Caribbean Airlines) will buck up … or lower its fares for the general public then so be it, because nothing is wrong with competition,” said (Transport Minister) Warner during the post-Cabinet press briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

“I would have liked to know how the airline got the permission, from whom and when and I’m not quite sure I can answer you those questions,” Warner continued, adding that he had no documents at his ministry’s office with respect to REDjet’s operations.

Director general of the Civil Aviation Authority Ramesh Lutchmedial told the Express yesterday that no approval had been granted for REDjet to start operating in Trinidad and Tobago.

REDjet, the Caribbean’s first low-fare airline, was launched at The Carlton Savannah hotel, Port of Spain on Wednesday.

… from the Trinidad Express article Jack in the dark on REDjet’s permit

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US Federal Aviation Authority slams Barbados – Downgrades safety rating to Category 2, below Nigeria

Bajan veneer of compliance with international standards strikes again.

Our political and business leadership just doesn’t get it. The world has changed and even small countries like ours must comply with proper standards if we wish to have the benefits of international commerce and the respect of the international community.

Lately Barbados has taken it on the chin for failing to comply with international standards concerning tax avoidance, banking, trafficking in persons, insurance and the environment to name a few. Oh, the politicians squealed and puffed about the international politics behind some of the criticism, but the world is fast receiving the message that all is not as advertised ’bout hey in “First World” Barbados.

Now (and timed perfectly with the launch of Bajan air carrier REDjet) the FAA announces that Barbados fails to comply with ICAO safety regulations and downgrades us to Category 2. You know, like Nigeria. (Oh, wait. Nigeria was upgraded to Category 1 in August 2010. Sorry about that, Nigeria! Ok, so we’re in the same category as the Congo or Bangladesh.)

Squeal all you like about the international politics and business competition that might have pushed that decision: but if you can’t show the laws, standards and compliance – you haven’t got a leg to stand on. Oh well, we’re only talking about airlines and aviation safety here. Only our whole tourism based economy. That’s all. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Argyle International Airport in St. Vincent within a year? Not going to happen!

Reader sends photos, weighs in on discussion

Mention was made in your article American Eagle pullout from Puerto Rico hits Barbados hard, of the completion of Argyle International Airport in St. Vincent within a year. This is impossible… construction drags on in fits and starts. Here are photos taken two days ago, April 9, 2011.

click for large

I am not an expert by any means, but does it matter that it is aligned almost due north with the Trade Winds coming in crosswind from the side? The pilots and airport followers may like to comment.

To build an international airport in this economic climate is no joke! But I suppose it helped to win a recent election.

Cheers!

Lennox

Thanks to another reader, we see this on the website of the airport development company

Constructing the Argyle International Airport: Where are we?

Due to a delay in the start of construction work on the Argyle International Airport Passenger Terminal Building the completion date for the airport has been moved from mid 2012 to mid 2013 when the airport is now expected to be completed and operationalize. Continue reading

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