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[Bahamas, Western Air] AIRLINE TARGETS FLORIDA GROWTH

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Web site: http://www.westernairbahamas.com/
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[Bahamas, Western Air] AIRLINE TARGETS FLORIDA GROWTH

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Sep 29, 2011

http://www.tribune242.com/business/0929 ... ness_pg1-5

[Bahamas, Western Air] AIRLINE TARGETS FLORIDA GROWTH
By NATARIO McKENZIE, Tribune Business Reporter
Thursday, September 29, 2011

WESTERN Air yesterday said that subject to US approvals it expects to offer services to South Florida by 2011 year-end, and is also reassessing the expansion of its service to Cuba.

The airline's director of operations, Captain Wolf Seyfret, told Tribune Business: "We got our license from the Bahamas Ministry of Aviation. We have that in hand now, and so now we are pursuing it with the US authorities and it usually takes 90 to 180 days. That's what we are working on right now."

He added: "We are looking for twice daily flights out of Nassau, twice daily flights out of Freeport into Fort Lauderdale, and three times a week flights into Jacksonville out of Freeport and Nassau."

"We are expecting to get delivery of one additional aircraft at the beginning of December, and we have an aircraft in maintenance currently that should be ready for service also in December. So with the increase in the fleet we will definitely be in a position to handle the additional flights, the expansion, but like I said it's subject to US government approval."

With regard to the airline's plans to offer flights to Cuba, Captain Seyfret told Tribune Business: "We were planning to introduce the Cuban flights but the dynamics have changed in the market. The US government, the state department, has released travel restrictions for Cubans, and have licensed quite a few of the major airlines to go directly between Miami and other ports in the US to Havana, which obviously changes the dynamics in the market here by taking a lot of the destination traffic away from Nassau into Havana.

"We were planing to go three times a week, but we are trying to reassess the situation to see how many times we can go into Havana. It's a matter of feasibility."

In a previous interview with Tribune Business, Captain Seyfret revealed that the Bahamian-owned airline had pulled out of Jamaica as the re-emergence of Caribbean Airlines had brought fierce competition back to that market, making it unfeasible to compete.

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