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[Western Air] Bahamian Airline In 'Multi-Million' Growth

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Web site: http://www.westernairbahamas.com/
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[Western Air] Bahamian Airline In 'Multi-Million' Growth

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Jul 26, 2018

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2018/jul ... on-growth/

[Western Air] Bahamian Airline In 'Multi-Million' Growth
NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Business Reporter
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Western Air is eyeing route expansion both domestically and internationally, having made a "multi-million" investment to upgrade its fleet through the addition of three new jets.

Sherrexcia "Rexy" Rolle, the Bahamian airline's vice-president of operations and general counsel, told Tribune Business yesterday that it was upgrading its fleet with the addition of three 50-seat Embraer 145 jets. The company has already taken possession of one, and expects to receive the rest in the coming months.

"Currently we are in the process of upgrading our fleet. We made an investment in Embraer 145 jets, which are 50 seaters that are operated right now by American Eagle and a few other regional carriers," she said.

"Essentially the goal is to improve upon what we already have going, especially between Freeport and Nassau, but also to expand our routes nationally and, hopefully, internationally as well. I think the Embraer 145s are a great solution for that."

Ms Rolle added: "I'd like to believe we are getting close to completing the certification process. We have been working with the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority to get that done because it will be the first of its kind registered in The Bahamas. We have taken delivery of one and we're working on the second delivery, and the third is expected a few months down the line. There's a possible fourth after that."

She said the new aircraft will offer quicker travel times and comfort, while opening up the company to a wider passenger market. "I think it fits into a nice niche. It's faster, more convenient and offers more comfort than what we are operating right now. It allows us to open up our market to persons used to travelling a certain way, and who would be interested in travelling with us but would like an upgraded experience," said Ms Rolle.

Western Air currently operates with a fleet of five Saabs, and she added: "Based on where we plan on going we might have more use of the jets than the Saabs. We might see a transition in the next year or two.

"Since the public has been made aware about the delivery of the jets we have been contacted by various communities in the Bahamas who would like us to consider coming to their islands. That is something we are certainly looking at, even places we have gone before. We now have the ability to be a bit more flexible, and we may consider going back to those national destinations

"We wanted to take a bet on Bahamians. For us it wasn't that we wanted to upgrade our fleet, but our passengers were100 per cent on our mind. They have been loyal to us for a long time and it is important for them to grow with us and feel as though they are getting an upgrade themselves. That's really the goal at the end of the day; how we can improve on their experience."

Ms Rolle said the domestic travel market appears to be "holding strong", adding: "I think Bahamians are certainly travelling back to the islands more, which is great to see. We're in the summer peak right now, and so we see a lot of people travelling back and forth with kids."

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