New regional carriers likely to fail, says Sealy

New airlines attempting to break into the regional air transport sector are likely fail due to the number of unprofitable routes, according to Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy.

Sealy’s ominous warning came just hours before new carrier Trans Island Air was set to roll out services to select regional destinations.

In what could be seen as portent in the wake of the minister’s caution, the official launch of the carrier had to be postponed after a tropical weather system prevented several flights from landing at Grantley Adams International Airport.

Today’s system grounded key officials, including Minister of Commerce and Industry Donville Inniss, who were due to join St Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastanet at Bay Garden Hotel in Rodney Bay, St Lucia, for the ceremony.

The Barbadian media had arrived on an earlier flight and had linked up with the press from St Lucia and St Vincent before word came of the postponement.

Only last night, at the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Airlines Executive Lounge at Grantley Adams International Airport, Sealy had cautioned that the Caribbean aviation market could be just as unforgiving and unpredictable as the weather.

Pointing to the failure of REDjet, Sealy said embattled carrier LIAT had stood the test of time because of the support of the shareholder governments.

“It would be extremely difficult for an airline, and certainly one offering as many destinations as LIAT does, to be profitable. I am not going to say it is impossible but it is unlikely. I have two different top airline executives that I have met from outside of the region who were very familiar with the Caribbean and they told me that they would never want anything to do with LIAT,” Sealy said.

The minister of tourism said a high percentage of the routes in the region were unprofitable, and it was only through a sense of social responsibility that LIAT continued to service these routes.

“LIAT is a peculiar creature because of the governments’ involvement they can take on the social routes. You can talk about the social good in the case of LIAT and there are other providers of aviation services that private sector interests would expect a return on their investment.

“There was analysis done sometime back which found that just under 40 per cent of the routes that LIAT is on is actually profitable, 60 per cent were social routes. No normal airline could operate like that, but LIAT, because of its mandate, can think in those terms. The aim is not to make money but at the same time not have excessive losses,” he added.

Trans Island Air is officially scheduled to begin operations next month and promises one-way airfares as low as US$50 before taxes. The airline is currently set to service routes between, Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia, Grenada and St Vincent.

13 Responses to New regional carriers likely to fail, says Sealy

  1. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince June 15, 2017 at 12:24 am


  2. Leroy June 15, 2017 at 7:36 am

    It likely to fail because you all want it to fail just like Red jet.with all the red tape surrounding it. Remove the red tape and watch carrier surpass liat.

  3. just observing June 15, 2017 at 7:52 am

    See here now !plans to dish out the same treatment ascwas given ti Red Jet. I am sure that given the right price many of us would take our children on trips to the other islands to experience other cultures. Not so with Liat. With the right price I am ready to support the new airline. Mr. Sealy We can’t travel first class at the people’s expense like you ! Affordadale fares is what we want and also to see the backs of your lot.

  4. BimJim June 15, 2017 at 8:44 am

    The higher monkey climb, the more he show his ass. EEK EEK!

    Do your research, Mr. Sealy, REDjet failed because developed-country foreign “experts” came to an underdeveloped area and their developed-country “expertise” and budgeting no longer applied here.

    So keep listening to foreign “experts”, Mr. Sealy, and you wil see how far they can take you – after more than four different greedy nationalities and investment have failed more than a dozen times to create new airlines in the Caribbean with their “expert” qualifications and business plans.

    The core reason LIAT fails and taxpayers have to pick up the losses is because big-up arrogant politicians like you put your unqualified friends and Party faithful to do highly technical work.

    CHANGE is the operative word, Mr. Sealy, CHANGE. Because insanity does not successfully drive any business that I know of, and these days politics destroys just about everything it touches.

  5. F.A.Rudder June 15, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Pleasure craft and private air carriers are part of the pie when considering L.I.A.T’s shortfalls! Yes I agree with Mr Sealy’s analogy! L.I.A.T offers the Caribbean community an inter-regional air-bus service which makes the Caribbean more homogeneous !

  6. Alex Alleyne June 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Uh plane ain’t take to the skies yet and he saying it gine fail. LIAT will continue to fly even thought it is failing because you guys keep sucking the TAX PAYER dry and lining you-all pockets.
    The powers that be make sure RED JET failed and now going to rip the rug from under this airline too.

  7. Alex Alleyne June 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    The Islands listed above for the travel route are the ones I always wanted to visit. SEE YOU SOON……..I AM READY WHEN YOU ARE.
    US$50.00 before taxes would read about how much and change total ??????????????.

  8. Tony Waterman June 15, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    @BimJim!!!!I would Not have mattered even if we had ourown experts with all of their knowledge of the area, because Our Two Local Girrelephants, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica, had an interest in NOT having Red jet succeed.the were in their Negotians about the Purchase of Air Jamaica by Trinidad & Tobago Government and id NOT want any Competition, so the DELAYED Permission for RedJet to use their facilities and to have Landing Rights in T&T, and then after they had delayed enoughm the had Jamaica do the same thing, ad it costed Redjet $1,0000.0000 for every day they could NOT Land in T&T anf Jamaica, they actually Made Money on the Guyana to Barbados Route, but not enough to reduce the debt thay had incurred die to the Delays in T&T and Jamaica. so much for the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, and their talk about helping otheres set up Business in each others Treeitories.

    Trans Island Airways, if they are put through the same wringer as Redjet went Through, will also Fail, that’s one surety.Let’s wait and see if they will ever get Permissions to fly into Jamaica and/or T&T.Because that’s where the Money will come from, Not Dominica, and St.Lucia, Grenada, St.Vincent & The Grenadines.

    GOOD LUCK anyway!!!!!

    • BimJim June 15, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Tony, REDjet (Irish investors and management) was asked to leave Jamaica because the JA government were privatising JM and their presence would have devalued that process. So after a while REDjet came to Barbados (it was Category 2 back then to), and for a long time refused point blank to hire locals. When they received their AOC from the DCA they asked him if they had to do anything else to start flying, and he told them no. BUT that was a lie, despite CARIGONE and all its Treaties for every destination you still have to make applications, and the DCA knew that full well. But I say REDjet was still at fault, because they never asked anyone else. The moment they put POS on sale without any TTCCAA or TATLA appliocations or permissions was the peak of the mountain, it was all down the cliff from there with T&T’s retaliation. On one of the charters there the aircraft was met by SIX Inspectors from the TTCAA, who reported that the red grease in the oleos was rust, and the airplane was falling apart. Take a read of yourself in this archive…

      TIA2000 is owned by a mean, cheap, nasty, arrogant American who thinks he knows all about aviation – but when TIA goes down for the second time he will have bankrupted four (4) Caribbean small airlines all by himself – TIA2000 the first time (the employees all quit), Carib Aviation (Antigua), Jamaica Air Express (Jamaica) and back to TIA2000 again. He also almost bankrupted SVG Air, but they got away from him just in time. My info is that he is now running out of money, and this is his last ditch effort to make some back – but the way he is going about it suggests he will fail. His actions and consequences are nothing to do with Barbados, that is purely to do with his own mean, cheap, nasty, arrogant American attitude to using and abusing people and the shoddy, cheap way he has prepared for scheduled service. Here is that archive again…

      Barbados? Pure Schultz. Pure stupidity. Pure ignorance. “I know nothing!”. The CAD is a shambles, the DCA has not been even remotely qualified for the position since the 1970s and they keep appointing career ATC people to replace retirees without EVER advertising the vacancy, the million-dollar CAA building was just another boondoggle to put money in political pockets, and will probably not be used for that purpose for another decade, and there is STILL no legislation on the books OR in process for a CAA. Aviation in Barbados is in a shambles, and the FAA were 100% correct to rate Barbados Category 2 (UNSAFE) and tell them not to bother to call again for at least 10 years.

      Bring LIAT to Barbados? Don’t make me fall out of my chair laughing. The CAD cannot even competently regulate or oversee the two light airplanes of Executive Air, far less 10 or more heavy turboprops, 150+ pilots and 100+ engineers. Inspectors? More laughing. Staffing? Stop, please stop, mih belly hurt. Ask any Barbados licensed pilot about the Licence medical renewal process – it is from the ridiculous DCA excesses of Clyde Outram in the 1970s and requires more effort and expense than having a major operation at the Clinic. Airspace regulation is a joke and full of unnecessary pedantic nonsense, I used to HATE flying into Barbados.

      In aviation, “Barbados” and “competence” are about as far apart as it is possible to get without actually going into outer space.

      Anybody wants to keep up with aviation in the Caribbean, read the Terms Of Use and then register on that CRANe Network here…

      You will get a Digest email once a week.

  9. Alex Alleyne June 15, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    @Tony, this will prove to one and all how “helpless” Barbados is in the pond of sharks operating in this so called CARICOM/CSME.
    So true the big money is in JA & T&T. Let us all keep our eyes on this one.

    • BimJim June 15, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      In aviation, Barbados has TWO problems: Red tape (regulations and laws) and competence.

      If you spend zero money on your car but spend all of your money on your girlfriend, which one will you lose first? Barbados spends zero on aviation, and spreads money like butter on tourism. The one that gets no care is full of rust, and the well buttered one is declining, no matter what the politicians say. See my response to Tony above.

  10. RICHIE RICH June 16, 2017 at 9:52 pm


  11. The Negrocrat June 17, 2017 at 4:08 am

    BIM JIM, if you spend no money on the car, you will loose both the girl and the car at the same time.
    Women no longer ride on the bars of bicycles.


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