Barbados – St. Lucia Airfare After Liat-Caribbean Star Merger = $US272 … Used To Be US$131 !!!

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

6 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, CARICOM, Traveling and Tourism

6 responses to “Barbados – St. Lucia Airfare After Liat-Caribbean Star Merger = $US272 … Used To Be US$131 !!!

  1. No-name

    Somebody needs to talk to the LIAT Chief because he is wasting money on P.R. With inter-island travel being impacted negatively because ofn high airfares, if they do not reduce fares over the next few months LIAT will be further in debt.

    About a year ago I paid BDS$187 to go to SVG. Now it is over $400. This cannot be justified. Why not lower the airfares and increase the riidership?

    LIAT continues to make a number of changes without refernce to the needs of the passengers. One can no longer get to certain destinations for 8.a.m meetings and now with the rediculous new baggage policy of only permitting one bag inclusinve of a lap top it gets even more outragious. There are several business, technical, professional persons including musicians who along with a laptop will need to take some very sensitive equipment and documents on board with them? This is not very passenger friendly.

  2. airfares

    a group of Barbadian children is going on a cub trip to Trinidad on British Airways becuase the fares on LIAT are unaffordable.

  3. Andrew Fraser

    Dear sir/madam
    It is that all businesses people aim to have more profit; in fact that is the aim of all businesses. I greatly appreciate the step the new Caribbean star former Liat has taken. This in its doing will be of a greater profit for the company but I would like to put in a few suggestions of my own.
    Caribbean star is not a monopoly in the Caribbean and such hyper inflated cost will not cut it at all. What you will find now is that persons will fly less on pleasure and those on businesses will continue because its necessary but soon if the prices continue to sky rocket business will find other means of transacting businesses which might be to take advantage on the technological advancement. No look at this is, if there is a compromised cost where catering for frequent flyers or those who travel for the sake of pleasure, if such is done then you will have more business travelers and more persons traveling on pleasure hence the more will be the expected profit. A typical example would be it John sells 1 apple at $25 and Kim sells 1 apple at $ 20. per an annum John sold 100 apples and Kim sold 150 apples being the attractive seller who benefits the most. Think about it I need to do some traveling of my own and I need not spending money blindly and other I know for sure has the same ideology.

    Yours Truly
    Mr. Andrew Fraser

  4. Straight talk

    Air travel is a mystery to me, it seems to defy all business logic.

    We hear our tourism guru Lynch saying now that the buy out of Caribbean Star ensures LIAT’s survival.

    What!

    This is surely analogous to an amateur boxing bout, where two inexperienced youths have bludgeoned themselves to a standstill.

    Simutaneously both corners throw in the towel, saying “I’ve had enough I cannot win.

    One has been protected by a caribbean governments’ sponsored headguard that is too large to fit, against the blows of a dubious American billionaire with a dodgy past and present reeling on the ropes, desperately waiting for the bell.

    I am no expert on airline finance, I admit that here and now, but how the heck can you use subsidised funds to fight off a rival, offer merger terms, and then suddenly realise he has nothing to offer an already over stuffed, by subsidy, company except more
    staff and no assets, and then offer to buy him out.

    Seems to me you are paying through the nose in order to increase inter-island airfares to ensure profitability.

    I stand, in my ignorance and amazement , to be corrected.

    Minister Lynch , please explain to we simple folks.

  5. Floyd A Emmons

    What on earth prompted various govts in the caribbean to agree and implement a merger of Liat and Caribbean Star. I have certainly not seen any benefits to the travelling public. If, as the Chief Executive of liat has been quoted to have said that both airlines had been operating at a loss, where is the logic in one loss-making venture merging with another? I am positive that, prior to the venture of operating an airline in the caribbean, the operators of Caribbean Star would have done their research to consider whether this venture was financially feasible. They obviously decided that, for financial reasons, that it was indeed feasible and profitable. No one in their right mind would knowingly spend millions of dollars in starting a venture in which they could not see any financial gain. Given Liat’s current failure to provide even the slightest whim of a reasonable service, I think that they should put their hands up and admit that they have failed the people of the caribbean. This airline needs a complete makeover.

  6. Kay

    I’m not savvy with the whole merger thing here, but i do know that rising airfare costs is not a problem in the Caribbean only, but in America as well. This is due to fuel costs which continue to increase. Fuel costs for airlines are comparatively more than labour costs and hence airfare must be raised, otherwise the airline loses profit and will in time become bankrupt