Cutting nose to spite face
By LEONARD ST HILL | Wed, June 27, 2012 - 12:01 AM()
The nation or region as a tourist destination without its own airline is a virtual landship – up Mt Hillaby, a navy without a ship!
The irony in the demise of REDjet as a private company incorporated in Barbados is the prevailing dormancy of an airline company on paper that is owned by the Government of Barbados which has denied REDjet the lifeline needed for survival.
It is as if the fundamental freedom of a national airline to nominate fares most favourable for attraction to its destination does not exist as a lawful benefit of the ownership and operation of a national airline.
In this device, for Barbados, the compatibility of LIAT, REDjet and CAL operating in the interests of Antigua, Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica is so obvious that even a blinkered politician could not fail to see it.
LIAT would function as an island-hopping feeder to regional hubs connected by REDjet, from which hubs service would be provided by CAL as the intercontinental Atlantic carrier of an integrated CARICOM airways system.
Politicians have become so obsessed with one version of regional integration that they cannot see the wood for the trees.
Here in Barbados what could be the greater benefit in financing the building of a speculative hotel venture from Government sources to increase the number of hotel rooms and beds, than a guarantee of filling the occupancy of existing accommodation at a cost of travel controlled by a Government-owned airline exercising lawful rights provided by international convention?
Are the Ministries of International Transport, Tourism and Finance so estranged in pursuit of separate goals that they cannot see the mutual national commonality in any objective?
In that context, how could the subsidy of any number of foreign airlines at any time be justified as a priority of investment in the operation of a national airline?
God save Barbados?
- Editor's Choice
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