Well, THAT Should Encourage Inter-Island CARICOM Travel!
Airline chief executive Mark Darby is on the defensive about the recent increases in inter-island airfare, saying “Both Liat and Caribbean Star Airlines were losing millions of dollars in a competitive environment where fare levels were unsustainable.”
The key to Mr. Darby’s statement is that even the merged airlines are still money-losers. He doesn’t say it up front but he’s still begging governments to sink more into this venture.
The Government of Barbados is by far the largest shareholder of Liat so we Bajans should have a keen interest in how the airline is doing… or not doing.
The Swiss, the Belgians and so many other small countries couldn’t make a go of their national airlines, so maybe it is time for Barbados and the West Indies to admit that at the present time we just aren’t able to keep pouring money into another bottomless pit.
Perhaps the answer is to be found in sea travel with inter-island fast catamarans or other such craft. No, sea travel is not as fast, but for CARICOM inter-island commerce and movement of goods it is way cheaper than flying.
We should be questioning the assumption that there is no other practical and efficient way of doing inter-island travel besides tiny airplanes where passengers can’t even take along a decent sized suitcase.
That old definition of crazy sure applies to our continued willingness to sink millions into airlines based on a feeling of national pride rather than objective reality.
Definition of Crazy Airline “Investments”: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
From The Trinidad & Tobago Express…
US$20 fare increase by Liat
An increase in airfares on regional carrier Liat by US$20 for return trips in most islands has recently crossed over into the airline’s service to Barbados.
Airline chief executive Mark Darby said: “Both Liat and Caribbean Star Airlines were losing millions of dollars in a competitive environment where fare levels were unsustainable.”
“For some destinations, the total fare has been further increased by new airport taxes and charges. The fares in the market today are appropriate and realistic as far as our costs are concerned.”
He said in an advertisement yesterday that the fares had increased but not substantially.
Using the fare increase between Barbados and St Lucia of US$131 before the merger of the two airlines and a post-merger fare of US $272 he said:
“Within the fares listed above are a number of add-ons and taxes to the total fare such as airport development charges, various sales taxes to name a few which often account for one third of the overall fare paid by the passenger.”
He then listed the cost of running the company’s aircraft…
… continue reading this article at the Trinidad & Tobago Express (link here)
Also see LIAT CEO Says Airfares Realistic