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BWIA problems

Old 3rd Nov 2002, 23:39
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BWIA problems

News on BBC teletext has BWIA pax stuck in Antigua and rumours of possible company collapse, anybody in that neck of the woods know more?
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Old 3rd Nov 2002, 23:49
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No collapse of company; just an L-10 engine shutdown,and subsequent change, followed by L-10 hydraulic problem, followed by high oil consumption on changed engine.
A340 delayed due hyd pump failure.
Rumours of employee industrial action are being denied.
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Old 4th Nov 2002, 07:46
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Good to hear they are still ok, hope they sort the tech probs out soon.
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Old 4th Nov 2002, 08:49
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Air Atlanta B742 used yesterday on BWIA flight ex-LHR due to these problems....
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Old 4th Nov 2002, 18:24
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Hope BWIA get through their troubles... after all the L1011 tech problems seems the A340 is letting them down also. A few LHR cancellations already.
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Old 4th Nov 2002, 19:08
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Flight Schedule too tight?

The underlying problem could be an overambitious schedule for too few A340s and for only two remaining operational L10s in the fleet.
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Old 4th Nov 2002, 19:52
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I thought they only had a single L1011 in service or has MAN just been unlucky in having the same one on all services?

Anyway, the Air Atlanta 747 originated in MAN and is due back tomorrow morning at 04.15 according to BBC Ceefax.
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Old 5th Nov 2002, 10:19
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They only have 1 operational L1011. The other one they cannibalize for parts to keep the operational one flying.

If ever you go to POS you can see the 2nd L10 sitting on the ramp parallel to rwy 09 looking in a sorry state.
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Old 5th Nov 2002, 16:13
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Air Atlanta returned to MAN at 0415 local this am - with MAN and LHR pax aboard. Pax were well behaved and looked after very well by CC crew !

All LHR pax dispersed by us with coaches and cars as required - another mission successfully accomplished !
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Old 7th Nov 2002, 10:37
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Extract from Trinidad Guardian and Trinidad Express(6/11):

Company needs to find savings of $300k/month to survive. So far cuts of $160k "achieved", mostly due to flight crew agreeing a 3% pay cut. Other suggestions were - reductions in salaries for entire workforce, less time away from base, 14-hour work days and reduction in vacation as well as sick leave.

One union CATTU, which has 200 members, has agreed savings of $25k/month. ACAWU, which has 1400 members, has been asked to agree to savings of $45k/month.

Members due to vote on this shortly.

...and from Barbados Nation(5/11):

"Barbados is apparently considering support for cash-strapped regional carrier BWIA, but the extent of the support is uncertain. Well-placed sources revealed that some of the options included direct cash injection and marketing support.

The Barbados Government is reported to be very concerned about the health of the carrier, which is TT$88 million in debt, since it accounts for over 25 per cent of the air traffic into the island.

BWIA represents a major partner in the island’s bread-and-butter tourism industry, bringing thousands of visitors from major source markets.

It is unlikely, sources indicated, that a direct cash injection will be made to the ailing carrier but greater marketing support could be offered, increasing the collaboration between the destination and the carrier.

The Trinidad airline, in which the Trinidad and Tobago government has a 35 per cent stake, has been facing difficult times as a result of turbulence in the global airline industry.

For the first six months of the year BWIA reported a net loss of nearly US$9 million (TT$55 million) and company executives has said that if a restructuring plan was not in place by the end of October, the fate of the airline could be in the hands of its creditors.

During the past week, the cash-strapped airline indicated it was seeking a US$13 million (TT$80 million) bail-out from the Trinidad government to stay afloat beyond October 31.

However, Trinidad Prime Minister Patrick Manning said his government should be considered the “lender of last resort” and the company and its workers needed to make sacrifices before a loan could be approved. “When they decide what they will do, then the government will decide what, if anything, it will do,” Manning said.

For weeks, the airline has been seeking to strike a deal with its 2,300 workers to help reduce costs and put expenses in line with revenues but has encountered conflict with trade unions.

It is a situation that Barbados has been closely monitoring since BWIA’s economic importance spans far beyond its home base and a collapse of the regional airline could severely impact on the economy of Barbados and that of other territories.

Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch told the House of Assembly recently that any assistance the Barbados Government could offer the airline would be important since BWIA was responsible for a significant percentage of air traffic into Barbados on an annual basis.

Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority, Hudson Husbands, said he firmly believed BWIA must fly for Barbados’ tourism to continue its rebound and positive impact on the economy.

“BWIA is an important infrastructure in the transportation network that supports the tourism industry. Tourism cannot take place without transport and BWIA is the most prolific mover of travellers to Barbados,” he said.

Because of BWIA’s long and distinguished record, Husbands said it had also provided reliability and consistency of air access out of the most important tourism markets, such as London, Manchester, Miami, New York, Toronto and Washington.

Said a Barbadian hotelier: “BWIA and Barbados’ tourism are inextricably linked... not only tourism but the wider Barbados travel market. The loss of BWIA, even for a month, would create significant dislocation out of all the major markets.”

President of the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA), Oliver Jordan, also said BWIA was critical to airlift capacity into the country.

“BWIA is certainly one of our most vital strategic partners . . . We are hoping that the board, shareholders, management and staff can come to an appropriate agreement to maintain their existing capacity,” he said.

BWIA, which flies to 22 destinations internationally, operates eight flights per day to Barbados from the major tourist markets and the Caribbean.

Last year the airline moved 558 944 passengers through the Grantley Adams International Airport among the 1.4 million it carried overall."

There have been suggestions that the Caribbean Airlines - Air Jamaica, BWIA and LIAT should merge, but unlikely if the chairman of Air Jamaica has any say in it! From the Jamaica Observer(6/11):

"Air Jamaica chairman, Gordon "Butch" Stewart has rejected the idea of a regional airline, but said there was room for co-operation among airlines in the Caribbean to help guarantee their individual financial survival at a time when the industry is faced with numerous challenges.

"To think of an Air Jamaica and a BWIA as one; it won't work," Stewart told Jamaican reporters in St Lucia over the weekend. "(But) there are many areas of costs, from maintenance to navigation, that we can co-operate and I am more than willing to do that."

Air Jamaica and the US-based Delta Airlines have a code-sharing system in place that allows them to cut costs and boost revenue by selling flights on each other's carriers. A similar system, Stewart argued, could be put in place for regional carriers.

"We should have code-sharing to start with. By having code sharing we can sell into their system and they can sell into our system and we can gain revenue where we wouldn't normally have that revenue," he said.

Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders have long pushed the idea of a regional carrier and the argument was revisited with the recent fallout in the tourism industry after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US. In recent weeks, the argument has been revived by the deputy tourism director for the Bahamas, Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, St Lucian Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony and Trinidadian Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

The arguments have varied from the necessity of forging stronger alliances to the formation of one regional carrier.

But clearly unwilling to go the route of merger, Stewart instead stressed that it was critical that governments of islands with national airlines recognise that they have an important role to play if the carriers are to survive.

"There has been no airline in this part of the world that has been able to survive without government support. Even those large airlines have had massive government support," Stewart said. "Just after 9/11 the airlines had to get special insurance... the US (government) paid for that insurance for their carriers. Air Jamaica had to pay for its own and the list goes on."

He added: "We are in very difficult times and the government has to be very watchful and careful that they don't lose their national carrier in a period where the industry is all under stress and they have to have a very mature view on it..."

The Antigua-based LIAT, Bahamas Air, Caribbean Star and Guyana Airways have all suffered losses in recent months and BWIA recently convinced its pilots to take a pay cut as it struggled to stay afloat.

Up to the September 11 attacks on the US last year, Air Jamaica was set to make operating profit but lost 10 per cent of its revenue with the subsequent fall-out in travel. It did, however, perform better than other international carriers like American Airlines that experienced a reported 20-30 per cent decline in revenue."

Last edited by newswatcher; 7th Nov 2002 at 11:06.
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