More BA flights from October
Barbados can look forward to an increase in the number of British visitors during the 2014 winter season despite a further rise in Britain’s Air Passenger Duty (APD).
British Airways announced it was increasing the number of flights between Barbados and London Gatwick from 10 to 12 per week beginning late October, to service the busy winter months. Each of the additional flights has a passenger capacity of 226.
Speaking to the Midweek Nation yesterday, BA’s head of commercial operations for the Eastern Caribbean, Dianne Corrie, said the winter season was “shaping up rather nicely and we are seeing increased demand”.
She also said there was good news from BA Holidays, the airline’s division that sells hotels and holiday packages, which was reporting “some steady growth in terms of selling the Caribbean for UK leisure”.
Corrie explained that changes to the frequency of BA’s flights were determined on the basis of customer demand balanced with route profitability and she said putting the two additional flights on the Barbados route “does seem to indicate that there is increased demand”.
The APD is scheduled to go up in April when two pounds sterling will be added to the existing world traveller class rate taking it to £85 (BDS$283).
With the addition of four pounds to the World Traveller Plus, Club World and higher cabin rates, British travellers in these categories will have to pay an APD of £170 (BDS$566).
Corrie said Caribbean governments, airlines and tour operators would continue to push for a review of the tax.
“Certainly BA continues to actively campaign to encourage the UK government to remove the tax” she said.
“We do keep a close eye on how this impacts travel especially to the Caribbean because it is in one of the higher bands.”
The BA official noted, however, that though the airline continued to express disappointment regarding the level of tax imposed for travel to the Caribbean the British government went ahead with the increase.
BA is this year celebrating 60 years of flying between Barbados and London and Sean Doyle, general manager for the Americas, said that the airline had helped to open the skies for tourism, trade, leisure and family travel between Barbados and Britain.