[Letter] Sour love affair with a heartless Virgin

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bimjim
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[Letter] Sour love affair with a heartless Virgin

Unread post by bimjim » Mon Jun 20, 2011

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/2011 ... ters1.html

LETTER OF THE DAY - Sour love affair with a heartless Virgin
Published: Monday | June 20, 2011 1 Comment

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I am so surprised that two weeks have passed and there is not an absolute outcry at the talk of Virgin Atlantic Airways pulling out of the Kingston route. The consequences here are huge.

1 Kingston is already hurting from the 'Dudus' experience, and all the focus on tourism growth has centred around Falmouth for cruise shipping and Montego Bay/Negril/Ocho Rios for airlines. The minister himself, every quarter, tells how tourist numbers have increased. But how about Kingston, the capital?

2 Virgin's withdrawal will have a massive impact on the number of visitors that Kingston receives, which we all know hurts the airport, the businesses within the airport, and all stakeholders that are dependent on the Norman Manley International Airport.

3 Everyone knows that the passenger load will not be captured by BA unless they put two extra flights on the same dates. With fewer flights servicing Jamaica, airfares will go up, which will further hit the passenger numbers.

4 We all know about the controversy and rumours surrounding the most valuable time slots in the airline industry, Heathrow, which were sold at a fraction of the price that similar slots were sold 12 weeks later on the market! However, I would imagine that they were sold on the understanding that Virgin Airlines would continue to fly the route.

5 The first knife that entered Jamaica's back was when Virgin took these Heathrow slots and used them to fly to Barbados and, instead, flew from Gatwick to Kingston (a route that obviously has far less traffic through it).

6 The second stab is now that they are pulling out of Kingston altogether! How can an airline, whose owner supposedly has a "fondness for the Caribbean", significantly reduce our air transport options? Sure, leave Kingston if you want, but give us back our Heathrow slots so that the Government can market Jamaica and Heathrow as a destination! If we had this as an asset, we could find a replacement for the heartless Virgin.

CHRIS RILEY

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Re: [Letter] Sour love affair with a heartless Virgin

Unread post by bimjim » Mon Jun 20, 2011

Ummm.... maybe Queen Kamla in Trinidad instructed her lackey King Bruce to give Virgin Atlantic some shaft? CAL/Air J wants to operate to London too, don't you know... and you can't keep Trinis waiting.

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