Daily Archives: November 8, 2012

Virgin Atlantic cutting capacity to Barbados – up to 3,000 seats a month gone

“Massive reduction” in Barbados seats as St. Lucia weekly flights increased from 3 to 5

Virgin Atlantic will make extensive changes to its Caribbean schedules in Fall of 2013: Barbados loses, St. Lucia wins.

The changes are being announced almost a year in advance to allow for travel planning, and reflect where Virgin Atlantic thinks the market is heading. Several of Virgin’s Barbados Boeing 747 flights are being replaced with new Airbus A330-300 aircraft, which while new carry only 50% to 70% of the passenger load of the big Boeing while burning less than half the fuel.

“Can we honestly say that Barbados is a better destination that it has ever been?”

Make no mistake, my friends: this is terrible no matter how the ‘new aircraft’ are spun and promoted. The bottom line is that one of the premier carriers from our premier market is reducing seat availability by up to 36,000 visitors a year.

Why is this happening?

It is easy to blame the worldwide economic downturn for the slowdown in our tourism economy, for tough times are taking their toll. Even those tourists who do visit are not so free and easy to spend as they used to be. Shona’s little brother is working two days less a week and happy to have the work he does.

Times are tough – but there is more to this situation than the economy. Everybody knows that our product has deteriorated. Our hotels are old, our beaches sport rubbish where they never did before. The traffic jams are worse and the development plan that is nothing more than walling off the coasts all contribute to making Bim far less desirable a vacation destination than it has ever been. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy