Airline Partnership opportunities gained, lost and possible

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Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

With any number of uncertainties there can be very few other businesses like airlines which present a constant indeterminate challenge.

It only seems a twinkle ago since massive controversy hit the media over the sale of the valuable Heathrow slots by the now defunct BWIA for what many felt was an under-valued GB Pounds 5 million to British Airways in 2006.

In 2011 the current Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Kamela Persad-Bissessar commissioned a forensic management audit which concluded that a fair market value for the slots then ranged from GB Pounds 23 million to GB Pounds 44 million in a report dated 8th May 2012.

Then with a blaze of glory in 2012 it was announced the replacement Caribbean Airlines was going to return to London, but this time flying into Gatwick.

Last week according to AirwaysNews.com, Caribbean Airlines (CA) will return its Boeing 767 fleet to lessor ILFC (International Lease Finance Corporation) during the first quarter of 2016, axing the Gatwick route and these aircraft will join the Air Canada Rouge fleet soon after.

This year, the airline has already returned two Boeing 737-800 aircraft with two more that are set to go soon. This will reduce the fleet to twelve B737s while retaining all five ATR 72 equipment.

Since the re-birth of the carrier, it has been difficult to follow what if any substantial part they play in supplying airlift to Barbados, specifically for inbound tourism and I probably am not alone into thinking ‘we’ as a destination do not have the best of working relationships with them.

Can this be changed or improved on specific routes, perhaps with a Barbados/Fort Lauderdale service or would this further alienate the existing legacy and low cost airlines? 

With lower fuel costs and operating costs out of Fort Lauderdale airport, this may offer a more competitive route than a Miami – especially if Caribbean Airways could smart partner with other US based low cost carriers to offer attractive seamless connecting cities.

And, as well as the obvious domestic (Continental North America) possibilities, could we use such a service to grow more arrivals out of Europe?

Norwegian Airlines fly non-stop from Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen to Fort Lauderdale. Imagine if Caribbean Airways code-shared with this aggressive low cost carrier.

Norwegian has already shown a commitment to the Caribbean with new seasonal services from JFK, Baltimore and Boston to Guadeloupe and Martinique starting in December. An arrangement with CA could provide a litmus test vehicle to test the interest in other regional destinations.

As they say ‘a world of possibilities’…

To combat the falling value of the Canadian Dollar we had planned to launch an attractions/activities/car rental version of our re-DISCOVER voucher which would exclusively offer ‘Canucks’ a ten per cent discount on strictly direct bookings. Sadly of over 100 tourism entities contacted only a total of five agreed and making it simply not financially feasible.

We have not yet seen a decline in Canadian visitors this year but if there is any indications travel from Canada to the United States is down substantially. Maybe if this trend continues to affect other destinations our industry might re-visit the possibility of inclusion.

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5 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation, Business

5 responses to “Airline Partnership opportunities gained, lost and possible

  1. Peter Quinlan

    Adrian
    Thanks for the note (disappointing as it is) regarding the cancellation of the re-Discover Barbados campaign aimed at Canadian tourists (such as myself).
    Yes, the Canadian dollar has declined in value dramatically and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I’m not surprised numbers aren’t down though as Barbados attracts a different type of Canadian tourist–one who generally is from a higher economic class than the Mass Market mainstream AI genre. These tourists are generally less effected by the dollar, are probably travelling using points, have probably visited Barbados previously and have already sought out deals on accommodations A re-Discover type program is nice but it won’t “make or break” the decision to visit Barbados amongst this class of travelers
    Peter Quinlan
    St John’s Newfoundland

  2. Green Monkey

    Just a suggestion. Maybe we are expending too much energy in an entirely useless debate over the topic of returning the LIAT and CA black hole, money sinks to profitability. Perhaps we would be much better off in the long run studying how we will replace LIAT’s and CA’s soon-to-be obsolete flying machines with a fleet of 1920’s to 1950’s style inter-island, sailing schooners. (Ahoy there Schooner Ruth!):

    True Believers
    by James Howard Kunstler

    The truth is the shale oil industry couldn’t make a profit at $100/barrel. The drilling and fracking boom that began around 2005 was paid for with high-risk, high-yield junk bond financing and other sketchy, poorly collateralized financing. Most of the earnings in the early years of shale oil came from flipping land leases to greater fools. Now that the price of oil has fallen by more than 50 percent in the past year, the prospect dims for that junk financing to be repaid. Since that was “bottom-of-the-barrel” financing, the odds are that the shale producers will have a very hard time finding more borrowed money to keep up the relentless pace of drilling needed to stay ahead of the short depletion rates. They are also running out “sweet spots” that are worth drilling.

    We will look back on the shale oil frenzy of 2005 to 2015 as a very interesting industrial stunt borne of desperation. It gave a floundering industry something to do with all its equipment and its trained personnel, and it gave wishful hucksters something to wish for, but it never penciled-out economically. Shale oil production turned down in 2015 and the money will not be there to get the production back to where it was before the price crash. Ever.

    Some additional uncomfortable truths should temper the manic fantasies of hypsters like Mauldin. One is that we are no longer in the cheap oil age. All the new oil available now is expensive oil — whether it’s Bakken shale or deep water or arctic oil — and it costs too much for our techno-industrial society to run on. That is why the world financial system is imploding: we can’t borrow enough money from the future to keep this game going, and we can’t pay back the money we’ve already borrowed. We have to get another game going, one consistent with contraction and with much lower energy use. But that is not an acceptable option to the people running things. They are determined to keep the current matrix of rackets going at all costs, and the certain result will be very messy collapse of economies and governments.

    Industrial economies face a fatal predicament: Oil above $75/barrel crushes economies; under $75/barrel it crushes oil companies. We’ve oscillated back and forth between those conditions since 2005. The net effect in the USA is that the middle class is rapidly going broke. All the financial shenanigans aimed at propping up Wall Street and Potemkin stock markets was carried out at the expense of the middle class, now deprived of jobs, incomes, vocations, stability, and prospects. They may already be at the point where they can’t afford oil at any price. That “energy deflation” dynamic, in the words of Steve Ludlum at the Economic Undertow blog, is a self-reinforcing feedback loop that beats a path straight to epochal paradigm shift: get smaller, get local, get real, or get out.

    http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/true-believers/

  3. Green Monkey

    Hello BFP, could you release my comment currently being held in moderation please.

  4. BFP

    Done and Done GM!

    Clive

  5. NYCBGI

    AS I HAVE SAID SO MANY TIMES IN THE PAST THE TOURISM PLAY BOOK IS OUTDATED. FOR EXAMPLE THERE WAS A INITIAL PLAN FOR SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS TO FLY TO BGI THEN TO NY. A BGI AMBASSADOR WAS INVITED BY THE CHAIRMAN OF SAA TO FLY, WHEN THEY PICKED UP A NEW AIRCRAFT, FROM SEATTLE TO BGI, SPEND THE NIGHT AND THEN TO SOUTH AFRICA.. THE SAA CHAIRMAN AND ASSOCIATES WERE NOT WELCOMED AS THEY SHOULD HAVE AT THE HILTON AND IT WAS CLEAR THAT THE BGI TOURISM AND GOVERNMENT IN ATTENDANCE WERE NOT HOSPITABLE. THERE WAS AN GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPAND THE TOURISM ARM INTO SOUTH AFRICA AND THE SURROUNDING COUNTRIES, AS USUAL NOT BEING ABLE TO SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY WAS CLOUDED BY BUMBLING NONSENSICAL PREJUDICES ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA. SPECIAL FARES TO BGI COULD HAVE BEEN WORKED OUT SINCE A STOP IN BGI, SPEND A FEW NIGHTS BEFORE TRAVELING TO THE STATES OR IN REVERSE SINCE THE SEASONS ARE THE OPPOSITE. ANOTHER MISSED CHANCE TO INCREASE THE CASH COW.