American Eagle Cancels San Juan-Nevis Flights

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American Eagle Cancels San Juan-Nevis Flights

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Jul 29, 2011

http://www.thestkittsnevisobserver.com/ ... nevis.html

American Eagle Cancels San Juan-Nevis Flights
By Monique Washington
Friday, July 29, 2011

American Eagle ticket holders who were preparing to travel from Nevis to San Juan were in for a shock when an American Eagle representative told them the Eagle will not be flying to or from Nevis and that their flights had been rerouted from St. Kitts to San Juan.

After contacting American Airlines, Dori Alvarez of the media inquiries-= for American Airlines stated that as of July 18,2011, American Eagle is no longer operating flights between Nevis and San Juan.

'American Eagle regularly evaluates its network and makes decisions on routes and destinations based on customer demand," she said in her statement. "American Eagle continues to fly between St. Kitts and San Juan and American Airlines serves St. Kitts from New York and from Miami."

One customer who will be traveling in September and who holds a ticket for the flight said on Monday July 18, she received a call from American Eagle stating that the flight returning from Puerto Rico directly to Nevis had been cancelled and that they have been put through to St.Kitts.

The Hon. Vance Amory, leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement, told The Observer that American Eagle not making flights into Nevis is a very strange phenomenon to him.

'I can not understand how any Government could not negotiate to maintain airlift for its people," he said. "Every single country in the Caribbean pays subsidies for airlift.

"If tourism is your main industry, you must have airlift, the more direct your airlift is the more beneficial it is for the country in terms of the persons that might want to visit. So I don't understand the whole thing."

He said during his term in Government they negotiated that American Eagle had to have a minimum airlift on average so at the end of the accounting period if the number fell below that minimum or average they would pay American Eagle the difference in what it would cost them. 'If it was above then we had nothing to pay ', Mr. Amory added.

"Because of the way we marketed the tourism industry and because people were coming, we were not asked to pay any money. The people from the Four Season were happy that they had a direct flight from San Juan. Not everyone wants to go on a boat especially at night' he said.

Alastair Yearwood, Advisor to Tourism, told The Observer the airline industry is a private sector so it runs on viability and the known factors on the Eagle was not sustainable and that is why the operation was suspended.

'Part of the problem was that neither visitors nor residents were using the service so you had a situation where people were leaving Nevis to go to St. Kitts to catch the American Eagle to go to Puerto Rico," he said.

He stated the Eagle flights never got the support of either visitors or locals.

'If neither the local nor the tourist is supporting the Eagle, it would not have an impact on our tourist season, I'm assuming the same way they didn't support this year they wouldn't support it next year," Mr. Yearwood said.

By press time, American Eagle/American Airlines had not released any press release about their cancellations of flights to and from Nevis. (Editor;s note: readers may rest assured this newspaper will continue reporting as this story develops).

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