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Sky Bahamas Bounces Back With 'Exceptionally Good Christmas'

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Sky Bahamas Bounces Back With 'Exceptionally Good Christmas'

Unread post by bimjim » Mon Dec 30, 2013

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2013/dec ... ally-good/

Sky Bahamas Bounces Back With 'Exceptionally Good Christmas'
Monday, December 30, 2013

A LEADING domestic airline said that it is coming off an “exceptionally good Christmas” with load factors averaging as high as 85 per cent for the period, and its CEO reiterating calls for the government to rethink its decision to levy 15 per cent Value-Added Tax (VAT) on domestic air transportation.

“We had an exceptionally good Christmas. Christmas has been really good. I think if we had more aeroplanes we could have filled them up.

“Average loads in most cases would have been as high as 85 per cent. You’re talking about a two week period,” said Sky Bahamas CEO Randy Butler.

“We have come off the worst September, October, November since about 2009,” he said.

Back in October the airlines’ operations were significantly impacted when some 10 pilots reported sick, forcing the airline to subsequently scale back its operations.

“We have been able to trim ourselves down to a size where we can manage,” said Mr Butler.

“December has been exceptionally good and we hope this continues into the new year. January and February for domestic travel is typically a slow time. The international side usually holds its own. We only have one international route that we’re flying right now to Fort Lauderdale,” he said.

Mr Butler again called on the government to reconsider levying 15 per cent VAT on the domestic aviation sector, telling Tribune Business “this is not the way to go”.

He said the move would put the domestic aviation sector at a significant disadvantage, suggesting that Bahamasair and foreign airlines serving the Bahamas would be protected by the government subsidies they receive.

“I think we are going to have some serious problems here. We look forward to the government sitting down with us so we can make this thing work. If they don’t, I think you’re going to have not only airlines but small businesses in general impacted, people closing their doors or letting people go,” said Mr Butler.

He added: “You’re also talking about a 20-25 per cent increase in what a passenger might have to pay for a ticket. This is not the way to go. It’s only going to further limit the connectivity between the Family Islands and New Providence.”

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