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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

REDjet to capture Crop Over market

"Last minute T&T travellers can now catch the last week of Barbados Crop Over Festival, as REDjet the Barbados-based, low cost carrier’s inaugural flight out of T&T is set for July 28. The popular Barbados festival, which began on May 14, will culminate with Barbadian R&B star Rihanna’s LOUD concert on August 5. REDjet will be offering passengers 3,700 seats at $65 one way fares, exclusive of government taxes and optional charges. This was officially announced yesterday by the management team of REDjet at the Carlton Savannah Hotel, St Ann’s. After several months of delay over its certification approval, REDjet was finally given the green light to operate out of T&T on July 17 by the new Transport Minister Devant Maharaj. REDjet had planned to start flying from T&T and Jamaica since May 8..."

Read more: REDjet to capture Crop Over market | The Trinidad Guardian

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Friday, July 8, 2011

UK Air Passenger Duty Hits Travel From North America and to Caribbean

"Cheapflights Media Ltd, the international media network providing consumers with different ways to find low cost travel since 1996, has been a consistent critic of the UK's regressive Air Passenger Duty (APD) -- now the highest such aviation travel tax in the world.
Cheapflights has just analysed traffic search patterns for the first six months (H1) of 2009, 2010 and 2011 for searches for Barbados, Jamaica and Mexico and other long-haul destinations. It also analysed its North American traffic searching for London flights for the same periods to indicate how APD may have affected inbound tourism. The figures have to be viewed in the context of the post-recession recovery in global passenger numbers over the period, especially in 2010 when a post-recession "bounce" occurred and passenger traffic increased by an above trend of 8.2% (IATA).
H12010 over 20092011 over 2009
New Zealand7.5%*-2.0%
Inbound Searches for the UK
CFUSA to UK4.9%-9.4%
CFCA to UK4.6%-34.3%
* Host nations to major sporting events in H1 2010
The Government has just completed a consultation period in response to representations by Caribbean governments, the Caribbean Tourist Organisation and also by UK aviation and travel companies about the negative effects the high level of taxation is having.
Introduced in 1994 and raised in 2007 it remained at a sustainable level until November 2009; APD was then changed to a much higher four mileage-band based tax for economy seats and an even higher four-band tax for premium seat passengers including premium economy. It was raised even higher in November 2010, costing a family of four travelling economy to the Caribbean APD of £300.
Following the 2010 increase, APD had risen a massive 275% above pre-2007 rates for all cabin classes to the Caribbean. Apart from affecting tourism-dependent economies, such as the Caribbean in general, the mileage bands also created unfair anomalies; for example APD is more expensive when flying to Jamaica than to Hawaii.
John Barrington-Carver, Head of Cheapflights Corporate Communications, commented: "Clearly, with a respective 51.3% and 25% drop in traffic since the higher rate four band APD was brought in, Barbados and Jamaica have good reason to expect the UK Government to remove the current anomalies in APD.
"A significant concern for the UK economy is the evident drop in searches for the UK from North America and elsewhere over the period. With the strong Australian and Canadian dollars one could have expected an increase in searches for the UK. Instead we have a 5% drop from Australia and a very significant 34% drop seen in Canadian searches for London.
"Domestically, the UK's airport operators are claiming that, according to Civil Aviation Authority statistics, passenger numbers at Britain's smaller airports have fallen by up to 70% in the past four years.
"Cheapflights' analysis appears to bear out the reasons why five other European Governments have dropped APD as revenue raising exercises. Having tried the duty they discovered that such taxes cost the economy more than they raised in revenue.
"High jet fuel prices have clearly increased fares but have not prevented the 2010 post-recession global bounce in air passengers.
"It's therefore difficult to avoid the conclusion that APD is deterring UK consumers from seeking fares to the Caribbean and other long haul destinations. Importantly for the UK economy the opposite is also evident, especially from North America.""
Source: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/uk-air-passenger-duty-hits-travel-from-north-america-and-to-caribbean-1534881.htm

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