Category Archives: Aviation

Loveridge: New JetBlue Barbados flight brings opportunity and hope

jetblue barbados

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

The double positive whammy for our tourism sector last week was the number of English cricket supporters who came for the Kensington staging of the test series and the announcement by JetBlue that it was introducing a once weekly, Saturday seasonal flight non-stop from Boston.

From the first flight commencing on 7th November it could easily add another near 4,000 American arrival numbers until the service initially halts on 30th April next year.

It also gives us another incredible gateway from a market that many know could witness significant increases over the next few years. While the 48 square miles that make up the actual city of Boston only boasts a population of around 646,000 inhabitants, within the area known as Greater Boston live some 4.5 million people, making it the country’s tenth largest metropolitan density.

At first, concern may be expressed about a single flight per week, but you should remember the Americans generally have shorter holidays and many of those are crammed between two weekends, so a Saturday departure is perfect. Often overlooked are also the physiological flight times, departing Boston at 7.45am with a scheduled arrival time of 1.30pm, allowing most visitors time to journey from the airport to accommodation, check-in, unpack and possibly sea bathe before dark.  Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

LIAT: There’s only two basic choices…

LIAT late

by Iain Edghill

As I see it, there are only 2 choices facing LIAT and its government shareholders. Either it has to be deemed an “essential service” and continue to be subsidized despite the operational inefficiencies inherent in its structure; or, it has to be fully privatized, de-politicized, and forced to be self-sustaining.

Both options are problematic. In these tough economic times, when governments are cash-strapped and are trying to figure out how to stretch their dwindling resources, many constituencies will argue that subsidizing a national airline should be very low on the priority list. Conversely, there are those who will argue, not without just cause, that LIAT is crucial to inter-island communications and commerce.

Has any study ever been done as to exactly how much LIAT contributes to the GDP of CARICOM? That is crucial to the discussion here. What would the economic impact be, in $$ terms, if LIAT were to disappear? Once that figure is empirically established, that could be used as the baseline for government subsidies, a quid-pro-quo, so to speak.

Perhaps the solution is a form of public-private sector partnership, with CARICOM governments providing a baseline subsidy, and the private-sector, with aviation professionals providing the operational expertise in running the airline, as Mr. Lynch correctly suggests, being the other half of the operational and financial equation.

One thing is for sure with regard to LIAT: the status-quo is both financially and operationally unfeasible.

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados Tourism, Barbados Transportation, CARICOM

Welcome to Barbados! Oh… you wanted to be in Rochester, New York?

jetblue barbados

“When she got off in Barbados, she thought that she was in Rochester,”

“And she was like, what happened to Rochester? This looks a lot different.”

And you thought your day was interesting?

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados

Will the demise of LIAT Airlines bring down CARICOM too? Do you remember “one from ten is zero”?

Liat Airline

Our old friend Jim Lynch has been following the news that Barbados wants to pull out of LIAT Airlines and establish a national carrier. You can follow the story at CRANe – The Caribbean Regional Aviation Network.

That got us thinking… you remember the old CARICOM cry “one from ten is zero”?

LIAT isn’t CARICOM, but it is perhaps the most visible expression of Barbados’ commitment to the organization.

If LIAT falls, does it harm CARICOM?

Proposal for Barbados to Quit LIAT

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, March 28 2015 – Caribbean News Service (CNS) has obtained a document titled “Proposal for the Establishment of a Barbados Air Carrier.”

The document, allegedly authored at the senior management level of LIAT, points to Barbados, LIAT’s majority shareholder, planning to quit airline

The document proposes that a Barbados air carrier be established with its own Air Operators Certificate (AOC) and Route Licensing Authorisation. The new company would effectively replace the majority of existing LIAT services throughout the region and would seek to develop new markets.

An approach, methodology and structure for the establishment of the new Barbados air carrier were detailed in the document.

It said a traditional approach to fleet planning in a startup airline with a projected requirement of 10 aircraft would be to launch initially with two to three aircraft and a limited route network and build thereafter incrementally over a period of 18 months to the final fleet number. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has funded, via shareholder governments, LIAT’s wholly owned ATR -42 aircraft.

The plan calls for the title of those aircraft to be passed on to the Barbados Government either through shareholder agreement or through CDB taking charge of the aircraft and reassigning them.

… finish reading CNS article Proposal for Barbados to Quit LIAT

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, CARICOM

How many tourists use Air Miles to travel to Barbados? We should know!

Barbados Grantley Airport Tarmac

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Way back in 2001 we registered a business name and established a website domain under the trading title of MILESCloser.

 The idea then, which still has not changed, was to target the hundreds of millions of frequent flyer members who largely use their accumulated miles on vacation or holiday travel.

One of the impediments to growing the United States market especially, has been the reality that because we are a little further away from key source market cities. Inevitably airfares are often more expensive, resulting in the overall cost of the ‘vacation’ making it more difficult when competing with other destinations.

This is especially true with non-gateway departure points. A good example is Minneapolis-St. Paul to Barbados where the current cheapest bookable fare online in October or early November is US$761 economy return. For the same dates the miles required are just 25,000 and US$60.60 in taxes.

So by getting rid of the perceived ‘high’ airfare, we then only have to compete on accommodation options.

Gone are the days when you only earned miles by flying. In fact it is now almost the entire opposite. Most miles are gained by non-airline purchases.

The first major airline loyalty programme, American AAdvantage now boasts over 1,000 partners who offer miles simply by selecting a method of payment.

Among these are financial institutions who offer huge mileage incentives to sign-up with particular brand name credit cards, which in many cases grant sufficient miles on application for the first flight, without any or a very limited level of purchasing.

By selectively using a miles earning credit card to pay every day bills, it is surprising just how quickly the numbers mount. Personally I have not bought an airline ticket for myself for some time, but have currently amassed nearly 600,000 miles.  Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves lied about Argyle International Airport

Argyle International Airport 10April2011

When you lie to the Business Investors you ‘Own the lies’ when it all goes wrong

by Peter Binose

When Ralph Gonsalves announced the finish and operational dates for the Argyle International Airport, we must ask ourselves if he knew each of those dates was unachievable. I like many others believe he did know that the completion dates he gave us were not just unachievable, he knew that such statements were downright lies.

When you tell lies sooner or later your very own lies will come back and bite you in the arse, as the old folk would say.

Saying the airport would definitely be up and running by 2011 may very well have caused all sorts of business people who were ardent followers of Gonsalves, to invest money in their business’s to take advantage of the upswing in trade that the same Gonsalves claimed would follow the airport opening.

He also told the people that he would build a city on the Arnos Vale site when the air traffic was transferred to Argyle. He said the new city would be linked to the old city of Kingstown by a four lane tunnel under the hill, it doesn’t matter that approaching the tunnel from either end it would only be one lane. The whole matter was embroidered to wind the business people into spending money.

Hotels in Villa who are ULP supporters have invested fortunes in upgrading their family owned hotels in anticipation of the Gonsalves forecast of a huge surge in stop over’s and business in general.

People like Ken Boyer borrowed money from banks to build his supermarket and Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet, why? because as a cousin to Gonsalves he believed that Gonsalves would finish the airport by 2011 and the new city would be finished five years after that in 2016. Ken was a little silly because he should have known better than most of Gonsalves ability to make things up, to embroider the truth and make it into blatant lies.

The Harlequin Buccament Bay Project based all its plans on the airport opening in 2011, they have also been shafted and they must be seriously in danger of folding because the airport is the key to much of their projected business. They were made promises and are now suffering from lies. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Venezuela Declares Right to fly Warplanes over sovereign Caribbean Islands

Venezuela Air Force Sukhoi

by Peter Binose

In a speech on national television, Venezuela’s president Maduro reports that the air defense areas of the country have been expanded beyond the Windward Islands all the way up to St Maarten. President Nicolas Maduro, said that his country has the right to defend itself in the skies above the Dutch Antilles.

Venezuela is already a bully of the seas claiming areas that it does not own, now it appears they are trying to bully the airspace.

We have to remember how PM Ralph Gonsalves supported Venezuela’s sea grab of Bird Island. Just what kind of betrayal was that?

The yellow area shows the Venezuelan Economic space, with the effect of Aves Island/Rock.

The yellow area shows the Venezuelan Economic space, with the effect of Aves Island/Rock.

Under the International Law Of The Sea Aves Island is classified as a rock which does not get the 200mile economic zone, however Venezuela hasn’t signed the UNLOS treaty. This rock effectively removes a significantly removes most of the OECS’ economic zone.

… from Notes from the Margin article How Venezuela Controls the Caribbean Sea

“St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said the OECS had accepted Venezuela’s sovereignty over Bird Island and that he would not allow anyone to dictate whether or not he should put pressure on the Government of Venezuela in relation to the issue”. Speaking at a press conference at the Caricom secretariat, Gonsalves said, “Nobody is going to tell me which questions are important.”

When public support for this type of Venezuelan communist regime wanes at home they try and turn public attention from local matters to the international theatre.   Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela