[Trinidad] New company eyes Tobago air route

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[Trinidad] New company eyes Tobago air route

Unread post by bimjim » Wed Jan 31, 2018

http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2018-01- ... -air-route

[Trinidad] New company eyes Tobago air route
Joel Julien
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Is an alternative means of transport on the Tobago airbridge over the horizon? Well, if Raymond McMillan has his way then the answer is yes. A trip to Tobago may cost twice as much as you pay now though.

McMillan is the chief executive officer of Sterling Tobago Airways Limited, trading as Tobago Airways, and he believes the national carrier Caribbean Airlines needed competition on the domestic airbridge. McMillan is currently looking for investors to help fund this idea. For investments of US$100,000 and over returns on investment are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

McMillan believes Tobago Airways’ estimated profit after five years will be around US$19.5 million. The initial contract for a plane will be with Airline Solutions Ltd, a company registered in the UK.

Social media was abuzz yesterday when the front page of the Tobago Airways document seeking investors was shared. “Something new and exciting is coming soon,” the document stated.

The T&T Guardian reached out to McMillan for information on the venture but he said he was having a board meeting at the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort. According to the Tobago Airways website “something new and exciting” is coming by March 1.

McMillan is looking for investors for what he deems a “necessary ‘shift’ in the airbridge between Trinidad and Tobago which has been a ‘sour point’ for over 30 years”. In recent times issues surrounding the Tobago airbridge have come to the national fore, especially in light of difficulties experienced on the seabridge.

CAL recently issued a release showing that its performance on the Tobago airbridge has been 86 per cent above industry standards. The national airline also implemented a $50 change fee for passengers missing or changing their confirmed flights.

According to a recent Parliament Joint Select Committee, 52 per cent of CAL’s flights are operated on the domestic airbridge and approximately TT$41 million was allocated for CAL as the subsidy on the airbridge for 2017.

The subsidy does not cover the entire shortfall between the fare charged for flights along the airbridge, and the cost of running the air bridge, and therefore, the route is unprofitable. Return tickets on CAL for the Tobago air-bridge cost $300. Tobago Airways tickets are expected to cost around $600.

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