Nation news story “totally erroneous, spin to make up for Virgin Atlantic’s disastrous Barbados cuts”

“BA Boost” is B.S.

The Nation article “BA Boost” is totally erroneous and appears to be nothing more than spin to make up for yesterday’s disastrous news that Virgin Atlantic is cutting seat capacity to Barbados by 3,000 seats a month.

‘BRITISH AIRWAYS (BA) is projecting a good winter season for its Barbados business, with more than 2000 passengers arriving here every week.’ (from The Nation article BA Boost)

The airline is in fact operating 10 flights per week using B777 aircraft with 226 seats, a TOTAL of 2,226 seats in every plane is full, a near impossibility. A previous Nation news story about a British Airways flight grounded at Grantley due to a bird strike revealed that the London-bound flight only had 100 passengers on board. That again shows how much of this current BA announcement is spin.

As the airline operated 12 flights per week last winter, today’s announcement is in fact a reduction of capacity, but the public apparently must not be told the truth: nevermind that the truth about the tourism industry is visible throughout Barbados.

Our tourism ‘leaders’ act as if we were still in those magic days when the Concordes of British Airways declared Barbados to be the number one island destination in the world – when the crowds were beating down the doors just to spend a week or two in Bim.

BA boost


BRITISH AIRWAYS (BA) is projecting a good winter season for its Barbados business, with more than 2 000 passengers arriving here every week.

The airline’s winter season operations began last month with ten weekly direct London-to-Barbados return flights and district manager Nigel Blackett said already the passenger loads were “encouraging”.

The BA aircraft has  a seating capacity of 226 and there is an expected boost in business with  a weekly air/sea exchange of cruise ship and airline passengers, starting November 16.

This will see close to 200 cruise ship passengers taking a BA flight back  to London from Barbados, while a similar number  of BA passengers  will join the cruise ship in Barbados.

… from The Nation BA Boost

Concorde over Barbados stamp image courtesy of George Wu, Taiwan, Republic of China (George has a wonderful website for aviation enthusiasts)

Further Reading

Barbados prepares to bid farewell to Concorde – 11/8/2003

Courtesy of

With the last scheduled supersonic flight to Barbados set for August 30th, the people of this Caribbean island are preparing to bid farewell to the icon that has graced their island for nearly 15 years, and that has helped to build their very successful tourist industry.

British Airways started their scheduled service to the island on December 12th, 1987. The airline would operate a weekly Saturday flight throughout the UK winter, when UK-based celebrities and VIP would jet off in search of some winter sun. In recent years the airline operated the weekly service in the August peak holiday month, while at peak times around Christmas and New Year three or four flights a week were not uncommon, either scheduled services or charters. One day has seen two BA and one AF aircraft on the ramp at the same time!

The final scheduled Concorde flight will depart from the island’s Grantley Adams International (BGI) airport on August 30. The Royal Barbados Police Band will send the passengers off in grand style through a trumpeted guard of honour as the airliner departs for what is expected to be the final time.

As the final countdown for Concorde flights draws closer, Prime Minister Arthur yesterday led a delegation aboard the prestigious aircraft to attend a Concorde retirement function in London. The Barbadian Prime Minister has chosen London as the place to relax during a week-long visit to the United Kingdom.

The delegation included the Minister of Tourism and International Transport Noel Lynch and the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator John Williams.

Speaking to the media, minutes before the supersonic jet made its way down the runway of the Grantley Adams airport, Arthur lamented that the “special relationship between British Airways and Barbados is coming to an end”.

He stated that the trip had been extended to mark the conclusion of that relationship, adding that it came at a time when the tourism industry seemed to be on a rebound. Hence it would be favourable to see the association between Barbados and British Airways continued, even if this particular aspect of the relationship was soon coming to an end.

It has been suggested that Concorde would visit Barbados for one final time on October 24th, on the very same day that the airline performs it final-ever supersonic passenger service from New York. Like New York, Barbados has played a large part in the success of British Airways’ Concorde services, adding significantly to the airline’s profits.


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

9 responses to “Nation news story “totally erroneous, spin to make up for Virgin Atlantic’s disastrous Barbados cuts”

  1. Mac

    Toral spin & not one mention in the reduction of Virgin flights. To not mention is pure censorship at it’s worst.

  2. Adrian Loveridge

    The Nation has corrected the online version of this story, but those of you that have a printed copy will read ‘BA BOOST – Airline bringing over 2,000 more visitors weekly this season’.
    This is totally erroneous part.
    Two of the ten B777 flights weekly will operate with a larger seating capacity version of this aircraft type and double-drops, I understand will be eliminated, so this could create some extra capacity. BUT unless the cruise ship passengers spend at least one night in accommodation on Barbados, then they are not counted as long stay visitors and would in fact reduce the airlift capacity, not increase it.

  3. Mac

    Adrian. I always found it strange that “long stay” is referred to as one night or more. Surely that gives a distorted view to the figures as one night is definitely not long stay. To give a true representation it should be at least 7 nights.

  4. Adrian Loveridge

    totally agree. There has been for a very long time at lots of grey areas concerning average stay.
    I noticed that the Central Bank Govenor boasted in his first quarter of 2012 review that average stay had increased from 4.7 to 5.2 days. Quite why average stay is now being referred to in DAYS when traditionally it has always been NIGHTS is a mystery. Perhaps it sounds more impressive than saying 3.7 nights to 4.2 nights.
    Not that long ago, our average stay was 11.1 nights, so present occupancy average must have had a significiant effect on revenue generated.

  5. Litterbug Nation!

    And have you noticed the incredible litter (NOT GARBAGE!) problem that continues to grow, getting worse and worse??
    Bajans don’t see it….after all.. Bajans don’t see ugly.

    But it’s there…shining in the bright sunlight, looking like hell, looking like Bajans simply don’t give a rodent’s rectum about ANYthing any more.

    And so our tourism product declines.
    And so airlines cut their routes and take tourists to other, far better places for their holidays.
    We have worked long and hard for the situation we find ourselves in today!

  6. Nostradamus


    My layperson’s understanding was that “longstay” was just shorthand for anything that was not cruise passenger or intransit. Hopefully people who are intransit but have to overnight are not counted as “longstay”. Not sure how significant their numbers are. Like any data you alwys have to “drill down” to get the informatioin that ‘s really useful.

  7. Son Of Spam

    Guess we won’t be seeing Puff Journalism like for a while? Kaymar Jordan got the boot from Fontabelle’s House Of Harold

  8. Richard Sealy the Brazilian Specialist

    Don’t worry Richard Sealy’s Brazilian tourists will make up the shortfall

  9. The Brazilian Specialist

    Haha…I am awaiting DLP moderation!