On the same day that the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives says that the LIAT/Caribbean Star merger will result in fewer seats and higher airfares, our industrious friend Adrian Loveridge does some research at the LIAT website and discovers that the only reasonably low air fare is on the Barbados/St.Lucia route where American Eagle will shortly be operating.
Interesting how people have to keep pointing out what everybody knows: monopolies in anything result in price gouging.
From The Nation News…
Airlines merger will ‘destroy tourism industry’
OCCUPANCY IS ON THE decline in regional hotels, an independent survey has revealed
A decrease in the first two months of this year, in comparison to the same period last year, was among findings by the Smith Travel survey at the annual Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives leadership conference, held at the Hilton Barbados yesterday.
During the conference, some of the factors singled out as being responsible for the general downward trend were the impending LIAT/Caribbean Star merger, the CARICOM special visa, and the high cost of travel to the region.
Director-general and chief executive officer of the Caribbean Hotel Association, Alec Sanguinetti, said the merger would be the “worst thing” for the industry and would “destroy” tourism.
… continue reading this article at The Nation News (link here)
LIAT Airfares Lower On Route With American Eagle Competition
Having just paid an incredible US$459 for return air travel between Barbados and St. Maarten, a total of 840 miles with Caribbean Airlines, I was attracted by the colourful LIAT ‘ads’ appearing in the local press headlined ‘get a hair raising deal. 40% off all (h) air fares’.
Conditions clearly state that the last booking day was yesterday (18th May) and travel must take place between May 30 and 7 June, 2007.
So I then tried to book ONE seat through their website on any of their destinations.
Below is a list of the lowest available airfare on any flights operating on those particular days.
Airfares are from Barbados, return, shown in US$ and include all applicable taxes.
St. Kitts $285
St. Vincent $111
St. Juan $394
Santo Domingo $539
St. Maarten $310
St. Croix $395
St. Lucia $100
St. Thomas $395
Please note: The ‘ads’ clearly state ‘40% off all (h)air fares’.
The only real ‘bargain’ appears to be travelling to St. Lucia where ironically enough their Minister of Tourism, Allen Chastanet, has just announced that American Eagle will shortly be operating a Barbados/St. Lucia/Barbados service.
So is it mere co-incidence that airfares have been pitched lower on this route, and if more competition was introduced on other routes then lower airfares would become the norm?
19 May 2007