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Is there a Future for the National Carrier?

11/11/05

Permalink 08:08:50 pm, by Journal Admin
Categories: Business

Is there a Future for the National Carrier?

Yesterday was the inaugural flight of Spirit Airlines into Jamaica. There were two flights from Fort Lauderdale one to Kingston and one to Montego Bay. The flight to the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston was named the ‘Spirit of Jamaica’ and carried 198 passengers. It was scheduled to arrive at 12:30pm but was delayed until 1:20pm. The other flight landed at the Sangster’s International Airport in Montego Bay.

Spirit Airlines is a ‘low cost carrier’ and will operate two daily scheduled flights into Jamaica. Two weeks ago they introduced a roundtrip fare of USD18.00 plus taxes, which created quite a stir. How can they survive on such low fares is not clear. It cost me more to operate my vehicle from home to work and back each day.

Follow up:

Spirit Airlines is not the only new kids on the block. In February this year US Airways started daily service into Jamaica from Fort Lauderdale as well. Since then they have expanded to other cities out of Montego Bay. They have also announced increased service between Jamaica and Fort Lauderdale to two daily flights instead of one. US Airways recently merged with America West, which moves them into the category of ‘Low cost carrier’.

What does all this mean to Jamaica? The Minister of Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill said yesterday at Spirit’s inaugural flight that the Government was pleased. He said that the low fares would stimulate air traffic and encourage commerce.

Can all these different carriers really stimulate that much additional travel to Jamaica or is the market simply being divided. What does all this mean to the National carrier? Already they are in a very unstable position. Can they survive the competition? Past experience have shown numerous carriers coming to Jamaica for short periods then pulling out.

Why isn’t the Jamaican Government protecting the national carrier’s interest? Why are they allowing so many carriers to target the same markets as their National carrier? For instance presently there are six daily flights between Kingston and Fort Lauderdale yet there are many other US cities with no direct service to Jamaica. Yes, allow other carriers in, however there should be restrictions on the routes permitted.

Will these ‘low cost carriers’ serve to run the National carrier out of business then pull out when the going gets rough? Where will our tourism product be then?

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Three Ministers

Three ministers - a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Southern Baptist and their wives were all on a cruise together. A tidal wave came up and swamped the ship, and they all drowned. The next thing you know, they're standing before St.Peter.

As fate would have it, the first in line was the Presbyterian and his wife. St. Peter shook his head sadly and said, "I can't let you in. You were moral and upright, but you loved money too much. You loved it so much, you even married a woman named Penny."

St.Peter waved sadly, and poof! Down the chute to the 'Other Place' they went. Then came the Methodist. "Sorry, can't let you in either," said Saint Peter "You abstained from liquor and dancing and cards, but you loved food too much.

You loved food so much, you even married a woman named Candy!" Sadly, St. Peter waved again, and whang! Down the chute went the Methodists.

The Southern Baptist turned to his wife and whispered nervously, "It ain't looking good, Fanny."

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