[SkyBahamas] No ‘panic’ as Sky pulls GB service

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[SkyBahamas] No ‘panic’ as Sky pulls GB service

Unread post by bimjim » Wed Nov 07, 2018

https://thenassauguardian.com/2018/11/0 ... b-service/

[SkyBahamas] No ‘panic’ as Sky pulls GB service
Chester Robards
November 6, 2018

Senior Director of Airlift Development at the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA) Tyrone Sawyer said the government is not yet “panicking” because of Sunwing Travel Group’s decision to pull out of Grand Bahama, especially given the number of rooms currently available on the island. He confirmed yesterday that Sky Bahamas has pulled its services out of Grand Bahama. Sky Bahamas has reportedly done so due to mounting costs at the airport.

Sawyer explained that Sunwing represented only seven percent of the airlift going into Grand Bahama, and contended that airlift capacity will have to be strengthened incrementally once an announcement is made about the Grand Lucayan resort.

“We’re not panicking,” he said. “We are working with existing partners, including Bahamasair, to ensure that we buildup and maintain the amount of seats we need. Once we have an announcement on the actual Grand Lucayan, that’s when we have to make a major effort to bring in the incremental airlift that we’ll need for those additional rooms.”

Sawyer said the MOTA wants to allay any fear that there is grave concern about Sunwing’s exit. Sawyer said while Sunwing’s service will be missed, the MOTA is looking forward to working with new partners in the future, including Sunwing if they wish to return to Grand Bahama.

Sunwing announced last month that it will finish off the final months of 2018 and cut ties with the island in 2019 because the company had “reached an impasse with the government”.

Chief Marketing and Technology Officer for Sunwing Travel Group Janine Massey explained that Sunwing had consistently exceeded its promised load factors when bringing Americans and Canadians to Grand Bahama, and helped to keep many Grand Bahama hotels open. Now the airline has finally decided to pull out.

The government recently purchased the Grand Lucayan Resort complex where Sunwing subsidiary, Blue Diamond Resorts, managed the Memories Grand Bahama resort. It is not known what talks, if any, government might have been in with Sunwing since the purchase.

Without Sunwing, the MOTA will have to source new airlifts when the government makes the decision on a new partner for the Grand Lucayan and excitement begins to build for the impending opening of the resort.

“The incremental growth in stopover comes from demand,” said Sawyer. “When we create the excitement, airlift tends to come.” For now, Sawyer said, airlift is sufficient for Grand Bahama as it is.

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