Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy remains confident that the recent increase in ticket prices by British Airways will not negatively impact visitor numbers out of Britain.
In fact, he is looking forward to next winter and has suggested that the increase of £10 on ticket prices to Barbados and other selected Caribbean islands was due to high consumer demand for these services.
Sealy added, however, that he would not want to see any significant price hike in the future as that could disadvantage the average traveller.
“I am not one that would want to see any great increase in fares per se, especially for the persons flying economy. I would like to think that we can keep those fares as affordable as possible. That is my mantra when I meet with them. The front of the aircraft you have a little more elbow room, to use the Bajan vernacular, but let’s try and keep the economy fares as affordable as possible,” Sealy said in an interview with Barbados TODAY
“The truth is a lot of that has to do with demand. The airlines play the game of yield management, as they charge fares according to the demand for the seats,” he added.
The Minister of Tourism noted that British Airways was scheduled to operate 12 flights per week into Barbados during winter 2014/2015.
“It says a lot that they are so confident that they can fill 12 Boeing 777 aircraft per week and that they are willing to do that and still up their fares,” he added.
Sealy said that he was pleased with projections for the upcoming winter season, adding that he was anticipating the positive impact the lowering of the Air Passenger Duty (APD) would have on the industry when it takes effect in April next year.
“I think it is also worth mentioning that Virgin Atlantic still have their daily, as well as the twice weekly out of Manchester, and the Thomas Cook charter is going to come out of Manchester. So the UK airlift is strong and the numbers are on the up,” he added. (MM)