Sad days for Barbados Tourism: Double standards by government, American Airlines cuts direct New York – Barbados flight.

American-Airlines-Dallas-Barbados

It’s official… American Airlines will no longer operate a direct flight from New York to Barbados.

Management and Accountability absent in Government handouts to tourism businesses

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner - now selling!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner – now selling!

From a tourism perspective it was quite a revelation to read through the five newspaper pages of ‘indebted’ individuals and entities listed by National Insurance Board recently – especially when you realise that many of them either in the past and/or currently benefited from substantial taxpayer subsidies, grants or soft loans.

It seems almost incredible that, at least in some cases, limited if any due diligence has been practised between the various Government agencies involved before the monies were advanced.

Take the (TIRF) Tourism Industry Relief Fund as an example. I understand that this was purely intended to assist qualifying tourism businesses to maintain employment. I never saw it as a source of ‘free’ funds to assist in the avoidance of statutory obligations. Yet, well over a Million Dollars in TIRF monies was paid over to one named hotel alone.

Others were allowed to access preferential interest rates through the Enterprise Growth Fund, and perhaps most alarming of all, several are currently benefiting from taxpayer-subsidised Barbados Tourism Authority promotions like the Barbados Island Inclusive promotion.

For the many enterprises like ours, who have frequently struggled to pay our bills on time, it makes a mockery of those trying to do the right thing.

Almost anyone in business could contest that at some stage they have experienced some financial problems or challenges, and this is clearly understandable. But, as the Barbados Social Security clearly states the list applies to those ‘who have not made satisfactory arrangements to liquidate the outstanding debt (or) have not adhered to arrangements made’.

Again, if this disparity is allowed to continue ‘we’ are just allowing the goalposts to be modified one more time and disadvantaging others who are fighting to keep trading legitimately.

It also calls into question why is there not more communication between the various Government agencies in terms of compliance. Why is it possible to access public funds without an NIS clearance certificate, while it is a prerequisite for a licence to operate a hotel or restaurant?

Goodbye American Airlines NYC direct flight

It’s official: according to their website from 15th January 2014, American Airlines will no longer operate a direct flight from New York to Barbados.

A Disaster!

For travellers still wishing to fly with AA, including their 66 million frequent flyer members, it will now only be possible to get to Barbados via Miami. In a southbound direction this means leaving JFK at 5.45am to arrive in Barbados at 2.40pm, or at 12.45pm arriving at 10.55pm. That’s a long day of travel compared with some other Caribbean destinations.

Northbound, AA travellers departing 8.10am reach JFK at 4.25pm, so a minimum journey time of seven hours.

Low cost airline JetBlue is still offers a non-stop option, but clearly losing any significant competition is almost certain to drive fares up, making us as a destination of choice even less competitive.

Currently the cheapest New York return fare in January with jetBlue, bookable in the USA including taxes, is US$443.10.

Timing of American Airlines pull-out is a puzzle

The timing of this route cessation is also a puzzle, at the peak travel time (winter high season) and while awaiting the final anticipated approval for a merger with US Airways.

It is also difficult to comprehend, why we were not able to sustain one tiny B737 flight daily from one of the largest urban conglomerations in North America; the 23 million populace of the Tri-State area.

In global terms JFK airport ranks 19th in the world, with passenger traffic reaching almost 20 million each year.

How much longer can we go on accepting failure?

28 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

28 responses to “Sad days for Barbados Tourism: Double standards by government, American Airlines cuts direct New York – Barbados flight.

  1. Due Diligence

    And this article pre-dates the Sandals announcements – the mother of all handouts

  2. The Spelling Police

    Wrong word:
    in·cred·u·lous
    inˈkrejələs/
    adjective
    1. (of a person or their manner) unwilling or unable to believe something.
    “an incredulous gasp”
    synonyms: disbelieving, skeptical, unbelieving, distrustful, mistrustful, suspicious, doubtful, dubious, unconvinced

    in·cred·i·ble
    inˈkredəbəl/
    adjective
    1. impossible to believe.
    “an almost incredible tale of triumph and tragedy”
    synonyms: unbelievable, beyond belief, hard to believe, unconvincing, far-fetched, implausible, improbable, highly unlikely, dubious, doubtful; More

  3. A local

    I’d like to see a sensible comment from the Minister of Tourism and the PM before I offered my 2 cents worth

  4. BFP

    Hello Speeling Police,
    Yes, the darned automaticallistic speeloing chequer was on the blinmkying.
    We will fixed it and thankyouz.🙂

  5. Anonymous

    It really is sad when I think back that I used to fly to BGI on a
    crammed A-300 on Eastern. I think they held over 250 passengers.
    Tourism really is in a crisis!

  6. Richard Johnston

    That does it for this New Yorker: when I visit the region from now on it will be to St. Lucia, where the welcome is warmer and the prices much more attractive.

  7. Carson C. Cadogan

    The “article” reached here late enough. Not that anyone missed it.

  8. BFP

    Hello Carson,

    It is true that we have been strung out since Marcus passed away. Robert goes away for a week or two at a time and I don’t have the time I once did.

    But we are getting back to our old selves. Robert will be staying home for 3 months starting Tuesday, so we will catch up and start looking forwards to the next election.

    What do you think, Carson? Will Bim survive the coming financial storm? We are pretty well bankrupt at the moment and the credit banks are dry. What shall we do?

    do you have a plan? Let’s hear it!

    Faithfully,
    Clive

  9. Susan

    We will return to Bim for our holiday in a few weeks marking our 20 something trip to the country. We always flew on American until Jet Blue offered service. AA has chipped away at good flight routes to Barbados over the years. We used to fly Boston to San Juan to Bim………gone the way of the Dodo bird. Then they mucked around with the Boston to JFK connectors so you had to fly Boston to Miami and get to Grantley at the end of the day( mind, you are paying for that day at your destination hotel). We are very happy with Jet Blue and are looking forward to another holiday in Barbados. American has only themselves to blame.

  10. John Randall

    First let me say that I am a long time Barbados lover. We will be making our 27th trip this February and always look forward to it. One of the things that the tourism industry misses is that Barbados has changed a lot. Still a beautiful February home for us, but it has lost the charm it used to have. This is understandable with world changes and trying to be more worldly,and trying to provide people with all the same things they have at home. The ‘Americanization’ (no offence intended) of Barbados has changed to feel of the island. Not wishing to hold any country back, this is progress I suppose. Still love it but miss the sound of a steel drum while enjoying some real Bajan food, among many other things. Hard to find the old charm these days.

  11. TWWIFOS

    What do you think, Carson? Will Bim survive the coming financial storm? We are pretty well bankrupt at the moment and the credit banks are dry. What shall we do? do you have a plan? Let’s hear it!

    Yep, not a peep. If he’s not bashing AL, he has nothing to say. No solutions, no suggestions, only obstruction.

  12. Carson C. Cadogan

    We have nothing to fear, but fear itself. The Barbados Labour Party and its minions delight in wallowing in fear. They believe that to cause panic, confusion, despair and chaos is the best way forward.

    If the Barbados Labour Party were soldiers in a war they would not stand a snowball chance in hell of winning it. They would never see light at the end of the tunnel.

    The writer of the article is no different.

  13. Carson C. Cadogan

    It is a good thing for the World that Winston Churchill, in a grave situation, had a better attitude than ADRIAN LOVERIDGE and the BARBADOS LABOUR PARTY otherwise we would all be speaking GERMAN by now!!!!!

  14. Yatinkiteasy

    First AA dropped BGI to San Juan …now dropping JFK direct. Ticket prices now offered for travel March/April 2014 are nearly double 2013 !
    I hope Jet Blue does not get greedy and follow AA’s pricing.

    @CC why do you think not one member of DLP voiced any support or defense of Mr Sinclair when a no confidence motion was introduced in Parliament by the opposition?
    Bringing Winston Churchill into the debate shows a total denial and or lack of understanding of the current state of affairs in Barbados.

  15. Carson C. Cadogan

    The “no confidence” motion was the BLP’s motion. You should be asking why only 3 members of the BLP spoke on it.

    There was an “Uneager eleven” on the BLP side to offer support MIA>

    That is what you ought to be worried about.

    Their motion, supported by only 3 of their members. Obviously the rest considered the motion a nuisance motion.

  16. Nervous

    It’s very said for the country, especially the people who are en-transit … I herd rumors? AA, Virgin airline, Canadian airline, JetBlue and British airways will be using SVG ( AIA) as there Hub, in the future, I here it from a good source. They love the fact that AIA has jet bridge, and have lots of resort in the Grenadines & a number of new hotel are in the plan.

  17. John

    Carson C. Cadogan

    November 4, 2013 at 11:11 am

    It is a good thing for the World that Winston Churchill, in a grave situation, had a better attitude than ADRIAN LOVERIDGE and the BARBADOS LABOUR PARTY otherwise we would all be speaking GERMAN by now!!!!!
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    WSC had the entire British Empire, including and especially Barbados, behind him!!

  18. John

    ….. oh yeah, I forgot the USA!!

  19. Anonymous

    What happens when you are travelling with a child or children and have to spend 7 or 8 hours flying. That is torture for these children. Will the Barbados Tourism and the government fix this. Folks like myself who travel yearly by AA couldn’t wait to get home on a direct flight without headaches. These indirect flights cause chaos with luggage. and children, etc. Can somebody explain why we lost the direct flights? Is tourism that bad? It was Sugar Cane, that’s not doing so good, now tourism, what next. Are we selling out slowly. Please bring back the direct flights. If Jet Blue will give us the same service, but lower their prices – ok with us travellers.
    Frequent Traveler

  20. Carson C. Cadogan

    John

    If the present Government had certain elements in Barbados behind it including the Barbados Labour Party things would be better.

    Instead what we have is ADRIAN LOVERIDGE and the Barbados Labour Party undermining the Government every chance they get.

    Go figure!

    Can you tell me what would have happed to such people under Winston Churchill?

  21. Carson C. Cadogan

    btw

    The 1st Muharram of the new Hijri year 1435 will be the Tuesday, November 5, in other words the Islamic new year starts tomorrow.

  22. D Oracle.

    CCC: the Gov’t does NOT need AL or the BLP’s help undermining them….they are doing a perfectly good job of that all by themselves every day in their every action and word. Go figure!

  23. Carson C. Cadogan

    D Oracle

    How is it that the PM of St. Lucia just reported at his lecture here in Barbados that the entire Caribbean including St. Lucia is on the brink?

    Is the Democratic Labour Party forming the Government in every Caribbean Country?

  24. Carson C. Cadogan

    D Oracle
    FROM TODAY’s NATION newspaper:

    “THREE DEVALUATION OPTIONS have been presented to the Caribbean by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which has hailed Barbados as having successfully implemented done over two decades ago.”

    http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/3-options/

    I supposed that the Democratic Labour Party is “responsible” for this advice from the Inter American Development Bank giving this advice to all Caribbean Countries?

  25. Dan

    Why does CARSON C. CADOGAN feel the need to put Adrian’s name in all caps every time? Does he think typographic effects give his words special emphasis?

    Only good writing makes words powerful.

  26. Carson C. Cadogan

    You have a problem with it?

    DAN the MAN in the TAN VAN!!!!!

  27. Dan

    It’s visually distracting, disrupting the flow of your comments and making folks not want to read past the clutter. Is that what you want?

  28. D Oracle.

    CCC is another wannabee contributor oblivious to the necessity of appropriate word choice and an astute intellect for good writing. He is essential however for readers to grasp the difference between good and laughable, the latter being his forte.