“Real competition is brutal and the wolves are sensing and circling the wounded LIAT prey.”
“Idle threats” from LIAT’s chairman do more harm than good
by Robert MacLellan
The board of LIAT airline is clearly feeling the pressure of mounting ongoing criticism of its consistent inability to achieve a stable business model and to provide a vital intra regional air service in the Eastern Caribbean on a reliable basis.
Unfortunately, the announcements of 6th March from the LIAT chairman, Jean Holder, strongly suggest a strategy still devoid of any coherent business sense. Take on huge investment in multiple new aircraft but then shrink the airline’s network? “Passing strange” and “wondrous pitiful”, to quote Shakespeare. If, instead, this is Dr Holder’s idle threat, designed to panic other regional governments in to investing in an airline with such a tarnished reputation, then that also is a strategy likely to fail.
Investors seek companies with proven management expertise. Yet, in his 100 day strategy announcement last week, Dr Holder stated that the current directors and senior management have invited “some experts” to undertake route analysis of the LIAT network. Outside consultants are needed for a basic management task – even after 57 years of LIAT operations? No wonder there are accusations of amateurism in LIAT management and no wonder years of persuasion by Dr Holder have failed to elicit much new investment in the airline from other governments in the region. Continue reading
LIAT’s Chairman Jean Holder launched his new book last week. Caribbean Tourism is probably a very worthwhile read if for no other reason than the author is the current victim in charge of LIAT Airlines.
Our old friend Bajan Reporter posted an excellent review of the book by Sir Ronald Sanders that makes me want to run out and buy a copy, but alas… the book sells for US$40. Sorry old bean, I’ll have to defer that read.
Why oh why in this age of iPhones, iPads, MS tablets and online electronic publishing at Amazon did Dr. Holder only publish a dead tree version of his book and at a price that virtually assures only a handful of people will read what he has to say?
Dr. Holder won’t make any money anyway – few authors of such narrowly targeted books make anything worth talking about – so why not publish electronically and move a hundred times more copies than on paper?
Perhaps Dr. Holder’s choice of obsolete technology, high prices and limited distribution mirrors the way he runs LIAT? (Hey… it’s a cheap journalistic shot, but at least I’ll admit to it!)
Come on Doc… publish the new book electronically for US$10 a copy and I’ll buy and read your ideas.
Thanks to Ian Bourne for allowing us to steal his photo.
Subject: Travel Itinerary
Thank you for booking with LIAT The Caribbean Airline…”
“Thank you for booking with LIAT…”
Like we had much choice between BGI and Grenada? LOL! US$240 to fly to Grenada and return is one thing… US$412.48 is another. Intra-Caribbean tourism cannot happen at prices like these.
The sad truth…
LIAT (1974) LTD
P.O. Box 819, St. John’s/Antigua
Confirmation Number: (XXXXXXXX) Agent Number: XXXXXXX
Booking Date: XXJun12 Booked By: XXXXXXX
Date Flt Depart Arrive Stops
———– —– ————————- ——— —————- —–
Thu XXJul12 771 BGI – BARBADOS, 8:10am GND – GRENADA, G 9:05AM
Sun XXJul12 726 GND – GRENADA, G 3:10pm BGI – BARBADOS, 4:05PM
Fare and Charges Detail: Total For 01 guest(s) Fare: US240.00
Sales Tax: US42.00
Passenger Facility Charge: US31.20
Airport Development Tax: US16.00
Airport Authority Taxes: US8.90
Airport Passenger Taxes: US29.72
Fuel Surcharge: US35.00
Payment(s): Visa: US$412.48—-
Balance Due: US$0.00
Thanks to an avid BFP contributor!
We were saddened to hear from Adrian Loveridge that this year’s annual ‘re-DISCOVER The Caribbean’ show probably won’t happen. We see the website is down and that looks like the end: barring some miracle. A shame really, because the show more than paid for itself and promoted pan-Caribbean travel.
Too bad the Barbados Tourism Authority didn’t think of the show themselves because then the BTA would have backed this very successful marketing effort.
Reader sends photos, weighs in on discussion
Mention was made in your article American Eagle pullout from Puerto Rico hits Barbados hard, of the completion of Argyle International Airport in St. Vincent within a year. This is impossible… construction drags on in fits and starts. Here are photos taken two days ago, April 9, 2011.
click for large
I am not an expert by any means, but does it matter that it is aligned almost due north with the Trade Winds coming in crosswind from the side? The pilots and airport followers may like to comment.
To build an international airport in this economic climate is no joke! But I suppose it helped to win a recent election.
Thanks to another reader, we see this on the website of the airport development company…
Constructing the Argyle International Airport: Where are we?
Due to a delay in the start of construction work on the Argyle International Airport Passenger Terminal Building the completion date for the airport has been moved from mid 2012 to mid 2013 when the airport is now expected to be completed and operationalize. Continue reading
Caricom Unity? Forget about it… it’s every country for itself in a fight for survival on the Tourism Battleground.
Jamaican Tourism Minister personally met with 300 Canadian travel agents in Canada’s Western Provinces
Despite the global economic crisis, Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says a record number of Canadian tourists are expected to visit Jamaica this winter.
“Canada is our fastest growing market,” the Jamaican Information Service (JIS) quoted Bartlett as saying in Toronto.
“Two years ago, the Canadian market was providing around 150,000 stopover visitors and for this year we are looking at close to 300,000, which represents a 28 percent increase over last year,” he added.
Bartlett recently visited Canada to thank travel partners for helping to make Canada the fastest growing market for Jamaica. He met with some 300 travel agents, airline officials and four operators in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg, cities that have shown encouraging growth in recent times…
… from eTurboNews.com’s article Jamaica looks forward to record number Canadian visitors this winter season