Adrian Loveridge Talks About The LIAT/Caribbean Star Merger
Is There A Business Plan? St. Lucia’s Tourism Minister Hasn’t Seen It.
I have stayed silent on the proposed LIAT/Caribbean Star ‘merger’ until now because I honestly want at least one commercially driven Caribbean airline to evolve out of the discussions.
Intra-Caribbean travel has been one of the very few success stories for Barbados over the last ten years and the only significant market that has experienced above-inflation growth.
As someone who has championed intra-regional travel for more three decades, I would caution those now managing LIAT, the Caribbean Star airlines to review the massive increases in their fare structure.
The substantially higher airfares now being offered both by LIAT and Caribbean Airlines will be in my humble opinion entirely counter-productive and will not in anyway help the airlines achieve profitability.
Many industry watchers anticipate a downturn in visitor arrivals immediately after the Cricket World Cup from our largest single market, the United Kingdom. Any deterrent to encouraging further travel within the region is going to have a significant effect on the viability of the industry this summer.
I was also surprised to hear Allen Chastenet, the Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation and newly appointed Minister of Tourism in St. Lucia state that he had not seen LIAT’s latest business plan.
It is in my opinion unreasonable to continually expect the taxpayers to pump money into any entity unless it is explained to them exactly how they are going to redress years of sustained losses losses.
29 January 2007