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Bwia Threatened! (long Post)  
User currently offlineRuslan From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 108 posts, RR: 0
Posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2036 times:

I really cannot believe this! It has finally happened! A mysterious (for now anyway) group has developed the courage and conviction to oppose and expose the skullduggery in which BWIA indulges; the same with which they have always escaped unscathed.
For now, the entire affair is being kept behind closed doors and I am not sure when or if the airline will divulge any information to the local media. Since I am very close to BWIA, I gathered some information and given the way I feel about them, I frankly believe that the action taken by the party is warranted.
We understand that sometime yesterday, (or at least that was when we got wind of it, although if something of this magnitude was received some time ago, we would have known about it since then) the President and CEO, Conrad Aleong received a letter. The details have not been revealed to the public but insiders have gleaned that an organized group has expressed intense dislike (to put it mildly) over the way in which the airline is striving to literally chase other carriers from Trinidad, in the hopes of establishing a monopoly, while service is being compromised. I couldn’t agree more. (As an aside, if you look at the local telephone, water and electricity companies, you will understand the negative effects of a monopoly existing in such a small island.) Anyway, I know as much that the mystery party also presented some very personal and privy information about BWIA (probably fleet, operations, questionable deals made etc.) that could not have been found out unless it has penetrated itself into the airline’s fibre or has advisors within the airline.

In any event, the ultimate threat may stir up the insiders. I understand that the enigmatic party has expressed plans of targeting the safety of the most important BWIA flights (that would mean the Miami and New York routes). I’m not sure if the "group" is just some pranksters whistling dixie or not, but I doubt it because BEFORE the letter was received (assuming it was yesterday), there were some bizarre equipment withdrawals from the fleet, which led to a negative domino effect for other flights, especially the Miami and New York ones. Also, all that happened at the end of August when BWIA petitioned for a halt to the opening of the new airport complex, because of the volume of passengers they had on those days. BWIA also said that the end-of-summer period is one of the most important times for them (which is known to be true, anyway) in terms of additional flights (solely to “compete with” the charters) and an increased volume of passengers etc. Because of the equipment withdrawals, flights ended up running late. In previous years, around this time, the BW hanger would be practically clear.
Anyway, here is a quick list of the happenings:

1. August 31- (Independence Day and incidentally, the day in which BW had an extra flight to Miami, beginning in Tobago and via Trinidad. It was to depart Trinidad at 5:00PM) – MD-83 withdrawn from service. After a Boeing 738 arrived from Washington, it had to sub for the MD-83 trip to Tobago. After the return, the B738 then left for New York (via Barbados) more than two hours behind schedule. Of course, the extra Miami flight had not yet been done. After another MD-83 returned from the scheduled Miami flight at 8:15 PM, it had to be turned around to Miami at 9:15PM, which meant that the extra Miami flight had now departed more than four hours late.)
2. September 2- Boeing 738 withdrawn from service. After arriving from Toronto, another B738 finally left for New York (via Barbados), five hours behind schedule. ( I’ve never heard anything wrong with the new B738s except the time the glide-slope indicator went dead, while one was on final approach, and scheduled equipment withdrawals won’t be made in the peak time of travel, with other flights being affected.)
3. September 3- MD-83 withdrawn from service. The morning flight to Miami was delayed. An L1011 was deployed for the route, but first had to be prepared. After clearing discrepancies with the flight plan, the L1011 departed for Miami, four and a half hours behind schedule.
4. September 4 & 5- Dash 8-Q300 withdrawn from service while an MD-83 subbed.
5. September 10- MD-83 withdrawn while a Boeing 738 substituted on the New York (via Antigua) route. Since no other aircraft was available at the time, BW had to wait until a second B738 returned from Toronto (via Barbados) to return it to Toronto as the flight the first B738 was originally assigned to.
6. September 11- MD-83 still withdrawn. 7:00PM MD-83 service to Tobago delayed until 9:00PM using another MD-83 that arrived from Miami.


Of course, none of this was and would be broadcast on the local news. They reserve such reports for when an American Airlines A300, for example, returns to the airport because of low oil pressure. Only then is it front-page news.

Of course, its no surprise that someone or –ones would wish to see BWIA pay for the injustices they get public support for.
Let’s look at a quick example……..
Consider one of the many addresses made by the CEO about regional airline LIAT, who he’s out to get. “…..let them be stronger in the northern Caribbean, we need to be stronger here in the south……..”
Okay, so after the territorialization move, in all fairness, to give LIAT the strength to operate in the northern Caribbean, BWIA withdrew 2 of their 4 flights from Antigua (LIAT’s main base and headquarters) and added 3 more. There is now a total of five (2 B738, 2 MD-83 and 1 L1011). They have absorbed Helenair, which operates as far north as Dominica (just two major islands south of Antigua). All poor LIAT operated and continues to operate out of Trinidad is 4 Dash8 flights. Once again, BWIA is the defenseless victim, right?

It seems that even the forces of the universe are at work, in light of some recent “freak” incidents to some of the fleet. It so happens that whenever they occurred, it was to an additional flight that BW added to its schedule, with malicious intent.

1. BW 428 (additional flight to NY) – on Saturday 29 July, at JFK New York, a cargo trolley reversed and collided with the parked MD-83, damaging a portion of the aft section of the aircraft. The flight was delayed until the next day until another MD-83 could be deployed to relieve the stranded passengers.
2. BW 420 (additional L1011 flight to NY) – Saturday 26 August, just after take-off from Piarco Int’l Trinidad, the captain announced a destabilization problem, which they could do nothing but monitor. They went to the east coast to dump fuel before returning to the field, but the problem corrected itself, so the flight continued on to JFK.
3. 9Y-THR – this is the only MD-83 that has been re-garbed in the new airline livery. They had done that to deploy the a/c to Miami, but Air Jamaica (with the stunning paint scheme) came to Trinidad, gained favour and upset their plans. Since the MD-83 has been painted, it has been sent to Jamaica EVERYDAY WITHOUT FAIL, for obvious reasons. On September 3, a poor bird was ingested by 9Y-THR so the flight was delayed. AND the strange thing is, on the ONE OR TWO days that THR was sent to Miami instead, the flight was delayed for over two hours, because of a problem that I haven’t found out.

Anyway, back to the letter. Although the safety of the passengers is a serious consideration, it is heartening to know that when I disagree with the antics of BWIA, I am not imagining things or being vindictive. There are others out there who I don’t even know, who are apparently willing to make BWIA wake up and smell their greed and deception. So, I guess all we have to do is wait and see what’ll transpire from this. I still don’t believe that someone went to that extreme but when you look at the track record of BWIA, I guess it's no surprise!

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAviador From Argentina, joined Feb 2012, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1876 times:

WHAT! WOW! It NEVER EVER crossed my mind that someone would actually threaten BWIA, since, because they are a local carrier, even if they committed murder, they’d get away with it, seeing the narrow-minded population there is.
I know I decided not to kill myself complaining about and acknowledging BWIA’s presence, but these circumstances are quite different of course. Somebody has done more than complain.

Allow me to explain why I agree with the move of enlightenment made by whoever or whatever they are. I know that as Ruslan said, the safety of passengers is a serious issue, but when their "favourite" carrier has a false belief that it's high and mighty and can win their support by playing the "patriotism" card, behind which it can hide, knowing that nothing can stop it no matter what it does, the realization that everything is just dust in the wind can be shocking.

I’ll use examples to illustrate…..
Consider some quotes from the “BWIA Tree”, a timely publication in which the CEO, among other things, divulges plans and strategies to “take care of” (so to speak) other carriers into Trinidad. (To the infuriation of Tobago residents, that island has long since been a small factor in the affairs of state.)

1. Referring to Virgin Atlantic (who doesn’t even come to T&T, thanks to BWIA, but has a couple weekly flights to three other islands) :
“………they thought they’d have the market by now but we still have the lion’s share….” (Break – fine then. Put your paw over your mouth.) “…..but Virgin is taking some money that we would otherwise have had.” I am surprised they didn’t say that Virgin, Caledonian, BA, Monarch, Britannia and all the other carriers into the Caribbean etc. etc. “is taking some money that we would otherwise have had.” With the way they go on, I’m surprised they didn’t lease a B747 or something crazy like that, to provide some competition.

2. In the projections concerning other carriers into the island (AA is the only large, scheduled carrier to the island), “………money BW is not likely to get this year.”
3. “ We will take immediate and necessary precautions now…” (to limit competition flights.)
4. “I should advise you that we are not going to stay quiet……” (We are well aware of that!) “…….. and just let them come in, we need that money.” (No beating around the bush!)
5. “We will be taking other measures to limit their impact.” (yes, like forcing ATA to cancel some of its flights to Trinidad, last summer.)
6. “…..we will act so that at the end of the down cycle (of the economy), we may be the only surviving carrier to secure the WHOLE market.”

So, especially with regard to quote number six, there is no question as to their list of priorities. Passenger welfare is just an added bonus then.
In a recent publication of the “BWIA Tree” the CEO went on a rampage, slandering the American people and their impact on the West Indian Banana Industry (how irrelevant!) as well as ostracizing the American Civil Aviation Industry. (Okay, well why in blazes are you pursuing a partnership with United? For your own benefit of course!) BUT, in the same breath, he continued to say that since travel to the Caribbean has declined (why then are the two AA B752s filled to capacity every night?), they need and depend on the patronization of the American markets to bring in 50% of their revenues.

Just for information, this summer, the focus shifted somewhat from the charters to the commercial carriers, because last summer, after causing ATA to cancel some (actually they only came twice a week) of its flights into Trinidad, the aviation authorities were about to kick BWIA off the New York route, which would have helped to destroy them, of course. But for some reason, they were saved.
So, I guess they don’t want to risk it again so they turned their attention to LIAT (as Ruslan said) Air Jamaica and even the other national airline Air Caribbean (C2).

The BWIA press cover story for Air Jamaica was that there would be an additional BW flight to Jamaica, two times a week when in reality it was four flights added.
Air Jamaica had to go on public television to give the blind public a look at the underhanded methods BW is using to get them out. Too bad I missed the interview.

That action against Air Caribbean, on the other hand, proves to me that BWIA does not have the welfare of any national economy of Trinidad and Tobago at heart, but the financial status of their own coffers. When C2 was promoted to the status of national airline, it was agreed that each carrier was to have a fair share of the Trinidad to Tobago airbridge.
(Of course BWIA doesn’t know the meaning of the word “FAIR”, only “FARE”.)
It all started with insulting ads on the newspaper about Air Caribbean (which no-one did anything about). This summer, C2 only had three, count them THREE (3) airplanes in operation ( a YS11 and two B732s). That was a signal to BWIA to supply the airbridge with three MD-83, one B738 and up to four Dash8 flights daily, while C2 provided the YS11 and a B732 flight.
The reasonable BWIA cover story to the press (nothing like having the media on your side!) was that since summer is a period when there is increased travel, they would provide the airbridge with 5000 seats for the month of August.
Obviously, it was more like 25000. But I guess, we shouldn’t harp on that because sometimes there were only 7 or 29 souls aboard the MD-83. People may be wising up, but much too slowly.

So, any utterance by BWIA about any foreign competition treating them unfairly is simply a case of the pot calling the kettle black! But especially with the LIAT and Air Jamaica cases, BWIA will aid in the destruction of any vestige of Caribbean unity that may have existed between the CARICOM nations. They are achieving this by not only being the perfect bitch to the other carriers, but also to their respective governments. They will cause the other nations to hate Trinidad and Tobago (more than they do already, that is).

So, BW deserves a heads-up from whoever has the means to do it. If the public was truly patriotic, they’d, having realized that something in the society needs changing, would try to get it done, rather than reveling in the nonsense of the “we ting” syndrome (that has plagued Trinidad & Tobago), and saying “who vex, they vex!”


PS. Ruslan, please contact me! If it’s okay, I’d like to know more about this, as well as your connection to BWIA.

User currently offlineSEVEN_FIFTY7 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 957 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1862 times:

Thanks for the (needed) warning about the length of your post. I'm sure it's interesting, but I don't have the patience for reading someone else's post that's more than 22,000 words long. Same with the first respondent, Aviador. I was counting on your post to somehow give me a clue as to what the original post is all about, but yours is quite a dissertation as well.

Can both of you re-post to give us a briefer synopsis of whatever intriguing situation is occurring with that carrier?

Since I care about BWIA, this would certainly mean a lot to me.

Thanks a mill.

User currently offlineRuslan From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1853 times:

1. There have been some tactics done by BWIA in the past two years or so, that have some people riled, viz. those from LIAT (a regional carrier), Air Jamaica, Air Caribbean, American Trans Air etc. etc. as well as some conscientious members of the local population.

2.I'll spear all the details about what they've done (all that is mentioned in the previous posts), the latest being to ostracize the US people and their aviation industry while still saying they need their support. They know they aren't getting their own countrymen's support so they're seeking elsewhere.

3. There were some suspicious disruptions to the normal schedule. Those examples were what I listed and made the first post long.

4. Some equipment was mysteriously withdrawn on consecutive days without prior flight rescheduling, and flights to Miami and New York were affected.

5. This happened in the peak BWIA travel time.

6. There was a letter received by the President and CEO, threatening the safety of some flights as well as saying that what happened before with the fleet was no coincidence. (obviously, they're talking about the equipment withdrawals.)

7. I don't know any other details because the exact contents of the letter hasn't been publicized.

8. Even today, the 12:00PM BWIA flight from New York, hasn't arrived yet (now is 3:30PM). The flight is usually on time (more or less).

9. We are now waiting to see what action all concerned may take.

10. I hope that sets some things straight.

User currently offlineSEVEN_FIFTY7 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 957 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1849 times:

Oh my goodness! This is truly a very serious situation! What kinds of barbarians would jeopardize the safety of a carrier like this? Regardless of what they have against the company?

Thanx for the re-post!

User currently offlineGreggj From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1845 times:

This seems like a case of 'much ado about nothing'
BWIA is hardly a world player...even in their own backyard.

User currently offlineRuslan From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1840 times:

We aren't sure if it's a serious threat or not, but I'm not sure what'll come out of it. I must confess I hold BWIA in very low esteem as well, but I won't get into that.
Anyway, I should have waited for more details before posting the message, but it had me really surprised when I first got wind of it.

User currently offlineAviador From Argentina, joined Feb 2012, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1833 times:

What Greggj is saying may be true but BW's been taking a lot of action to squeeze other carriers from the islands. If you look at the "BWIA Tree" quotes in my last post, you can see what it suggests they're after.
I don't want to get into the details, but it got so bad that Air Jamaica came on national Television to tell the public what BWIA is doing under the surface, to get them out of Trinidad. I missed the interview, though, so I can't comment on that.
But every carrier that comes and offers to co-operate with BWIA is turned down and BW insists on being "the only carrier to secure the whole market" (as the CEO said.)

Anyway, whatever happens, all I did was provide the information as it happened. When you look at all the daily local happenings here, it's really no surprise that someone'd want to do that to them.


User currently offline220389 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1821 times:

I am kinda glad that BWIA is getting a little pressure. I mean I have flown on BWIA many times and and sat by a window. On the wing of the aircraft there was a giant hole. This was aboard the L-1011 from Toronto to Port Of Spain via Antigua. I have written a letter to BWIA and filled out a survey about there aircraft. I think that it is time to scrap those L-1011's and get something new. Like the Airbus A330 or the Boeing 767. Everytime I hear a BWIA flight has a problem it is with the L-1011's.

Hope to see some brand new aircraft from them soon.

User currently offlineSEVEN_FIFTY7 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 957 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1820 times:


You're lucky that post about the kid who doesn't see any 747s in his hometown of St. Louis has just been deleted ("I'm So Embarrassed"). --Because I wrote a reply especially directed to you and your reply about that thread.

Now here's my second chance (only concerning this post), so get ready...

You wrote:
"This seems like a case of much ado about nothing...BWIA is hardly a world player..."

Dreddj, you're always complaining about people posting "useless" topics, yet you respond to all of them. Why would someone of your supposed caliber waste time doing so? What, in your oh-so-advanced opinion, constitutes an 'enlightened' post? Better yet, should I consult you before I decide to start a new post? Think again, buddy.

Listen, as soon as I'm done typing this, I'm gonna do a search to see exactly what kinds of "quality" posts you've started.


User currently offlineRuslan From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1819 times:

Well, actually although most of the flight problems of BWIA involves the L1011 (I've known them for about 15 years and won't like to see them go. They're very faithful), there have also been problems with the other equipment as well eg. the glide-slope indicator in a 738 going dead while on final, clogged MD-83 engines (POS-GEO route) as well as overheated Dash 8 cabins (POS-CCS).
There were numerous occasions where the L1011 came in handy by substituting for an MD-83 (MIA-POS-GEO) that was all torn up in the hanger, for example.

User currently offlineGreggj From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1813 times:

Dear 757,

First: I'm not too sure what my post to this message has to do with you. My opinion stands--it appears a series of coincidences are being made into a conspiracy theory.

Secondly: You don't have to consult with me about anything. Unless it's to ask me if I need my drink freshened.

How does this make me a hothead????

User currently offlineRuslan From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1789 times:

I'm sorry to bring up this BWIA thing again but I didn't want to create a whole new post. Just as a follow-up on the situation, the only news I’ve heard from the airline in the last 24 hours is that the vice-president of Marketing and Sales (Beatrix Carrington) announced plans of increasing fares. No definite dates or amounts have yet been decided.

Anyway, I am not a detective but something doesn’t make sense to me. Okay, so the CEO received the letter but no explicit details have been released to the public. BUT insiders know that the safety of flights has been threatened. Now, I think that’s information enough to cause some sort of public scare. Thinking the way people think, what’s to stop a BWIA person or even myself for that matter from going to the media with that and using our imaginations to provide a lot more information to fill in the blanks. Then all sorts of rumors and fantastic stories would be in circulation, which would do more damage than if the CEO had revealed the full contents of the threats in the first place. I would think that the BW magnates would want to beat anybody else to the media, and give their story first.
Well, local people generally don’t care about BWIA that much anyway, so the public may be unfazed by the whole affair, should it come to their attention. BW knows that a greater proportion of its patrons are foreigners to Trinidad anyway. (I think the new livery has a little bit to do with it). If you consider the BW and American Airlines flights that I’ve been on, as well as notice the lines of passengers at both check-in counters regularly (especially to North America), you’d notice that.
There was even a tag line a while back. “Locals fly American Airlines while unsuspecting foreigners fly BWIA.” I even saw it written on a blackboard of a Principles of Business class at school at that time, so I guess it was a hot topic.
When you also look at the reports of US or Canadian citizens being busted at the local airport for possession of cocaine and marijuana etc., it is always a BW flight and not an AA or Air Canada flight that they were attempting to board.
In any event, this threat thing isn’t making any sense to me right now so I’m letting it rest until if/when a move is made by any party.

User currently offlineJm-airbus320 From Jamaica, joined Aug 2000, 304 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1769 times:

BWIA is thraetened by anybody!The trinidad based airline reminds me of cable&wireless. I think Trinidadian people should realise BeeWee is playing on their patriotism and support and thus is taking them for a ride. BWIA has got to stop playing foolish games with their people and get their act together.
(note) If you wanna get to miami or new york from trinidad on time.........try another airline. IF THERE IS ONE!!!!!!!

User currently offlineJm-airbus320 From Jamaica, joined Aug 2000, 304 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1768 times:

BWIA is threatened by anybody!The Trinidad based airline reminds me of Cable&Wireless. I think Trinidadian people should realise BeeWee is playing on their patriotism and support and thus is taking them for a ride. BWIA has got to stop playing foolish games with their people and get their act together.
(Note) If you wanna get to Miami or New york from Trinidad on time.........try another airline. IF THERE IS ONE!!!!!!!

User currently offlineTrintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3297 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1761 times:

Wow! This is something else indeed! I could not for once have imagined threats to BWIA and so I am very concerned about that happening to my national carrier.

All the same, I cannot condone BWIA'S predatory actions. It seems to have stemmed from the aviation situation in Trinidad (POS) in the mid '90s. In 1993-1994 5 airlines left POS, namely KLM in '93 and British Airways, United, ALM and Aeropostal in '94. (ALM and Aeropostal have both since returned.) This occurred at a time when traffic into POS was at an ebb due to the weak state of the local economy. The only airlines left in POS save BWee at that time were AA with 1 daily flight to MIA, AC with 2 weekly flights to YYZ, LIAT regionally and Air Caribbean domestically, later regionally plus a few smaller carriers. BWIA thus assumed a supremacy on the POS market which it never previously had, with well over 60% of daily flights into POS daily. Additionally, it should be remembered that the tourist market in POS is minimal; in other islands such as Barbados and Antigua which BWee also serves BA and various tourist charters are ever present and give BWIA considerable competition which they can do nothing about save compete (eg the new paint scheme).

A good case in point is the POS-KIN (Kingston) route, on which BWIA has been the sole operator for many years until recently. This MD83 service passes daily via Barbados (BGI) and, 5 days a week, Antigua (ANU) and twice weekly via St. Maarten (SXM). This one flight daily takes 5 hours to get to KIN, being so riddled with stops but there was just no alternative. In so doing BWIA had a captive market for all the business and pleasure passengers who fly the route and, in particular, has been the exclusive carrier for The University of West Indies (UWI) whose students and staff often travel on the flight among the campus destinations (POS, BGI and KIN). With such a heavy market so strongly controlled, there was never any impetus to change the status quo.

Anyhow, by the late 1990s POS began to experience a revival as the local market recovered and many more people began travelling for both business and pleasure while the tourist market in Tobago (TAB) began to boom (although that market has been cornered by direct flights from Europe by jmc, BA and Condor). BWIA has thus been adamant about seizing the lion's share of this increased market and has been trying to do so by its aggressive behaviour. For instance, when Air Caribbean (C2) attempted to offer low-frills, low-cost fares to Georgetown (GEO), Grenada (GND) and BGI BWee countered them with similar fares of its own. Meanwhile BWIA, which owns 29% of LIAT, has bought its own fleet of Dash 8 Q300s and fly them as BWee Express to several neighbouring islands in direct competition with LIAT. It has always argued that LIAT could not offer passengers direct connections with BWee flights through POS and BGI to other regional destinations as the reason for setting up its own service but the intentions are clear - they want to run LIAT off the market.

As for the North American market, travel to those destinations (MIA, JFK, YYZ) always peaks during summer and Christmas time and so several charter companies operate to POS during those times. BWee has always complained bitterly about the charters, saying that they erode their business and have actually filed complaints about them, which, as was earlier mentioned, led to their nearly been stopped from flying to JFK. No wonder accusations of "sabotage" were flung about when a Tower 747 burst 5 tyres in POS earlier this year and BWIA denied them assistance in having replacements flown in (of course physical limitations may have been real).

BWIA has also been aggressively expanding its domestic operations this year since C2 lost the right to be the sole designated carrier on the route. It has expanded to 4-5 flights daily using Dash 8s, 737-800 and MD83. It thus offers much newer planes than C2 (who fly YS11s and 737-200As) and, with its domestic flights interlinking with international ones, it has jeopardised C2 seriously. (Of course, C2's regional flights have been hit by BWIA's increased competition.)

In July Air Jamaica (JM) started flights to POS from KIN and BGI, thus striking at BWIA's plum route. JM offers a daily A320, one-stop service to KIN which departs in the afternoon (BWIA's flights all leave in the morning). BWee responded by adding 3 new weekly flights to KIN, 2 nonstop and 1 via SXM. Why did they not do this before? Surely a 1-stop KIN flight would have been welcomed by travellers long ago, along with which the milk-run could have continued simply for the fact that it is well-established and is heavily patronized, especially along the intermediate sectors. Hence, JM's complaints about BWee.

Interestingly, after all is said and done, one notes the lack of interest BWIA has in expanding direct international flights to TAB. Is TAB not part of T&T and thus BWee its national carrier? Is its tourist market not important enough to offer travellers an alternative to the tiring connection in POS? Or have they simply given up on it and are leaving the foreign carriers to run the show there?

My post has now become just as long as everybody else's but I sorely wish to shed some light on this unacceptable situation in POS. Competition is a good thing as it stimulates creativity and offers the consumers more variety. BWIA is behaving like a spoilt big fish in a small pond. I have always backed my national carrier and would like it to prosper and keep its 100% safety record but please, predatory behaviour is not necessary to do so.


ps. Good to hear from you fellow Trinis on this forum.

Hop to it, fly for life!
User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1740 times:

Strange that no one has brought up Conrad Aleong and Lawrance Dupre's bid for ALM. Surely there's a slight conflict of interest when the Chairman and the CEO of a company make a *personal* bid to take over a competitor??  

Also, BWIA's Irish Finance Director has been applying some rather 'Irish' mathematics to the valuations given in their IPO documentation regarding the L1011s and spare parts. The figures seem to be off by a mere US$20 million or so.

I wonder why that is?

Who's been getting all the "consultancy fees" then??    

User currently offlineGunpowder From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Sep 2000, 39 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1728 times:

I hope I have misunderstood your original post, as it seemed to condone threats to the safety of aircraft operations.
Please tell me I am wrong.
It would seem, however, that you relish wild and unfounded rumours. I am in a position to debunk at least part of your conspiracy theory. Much of the confusion around the 4th of September was due to a sheared gearbox driveshaft on one of the B737-800s. Although still under warranty, the aircraft sat for four days at BGI awaiting spare parts. That played havoc with all scheduled operations, as this was the last few rush days of the Summer season.
The Lockheed L-1011-500 is still one of the most technically advanced passenger aircraft in use. Lockheed overbuild it with multiple redundancy in every area. As a result, it is difficult and costly to maintain, and reliabilty is not outstanding. There is just so much stuff to go wrong. the fact that you may not need all the redundancy is of little comfort when a big delay results. On the other hand, when you are in the air with a handfull of problems multiple redundancy gives you a nice warm feeling. You will not find a pilot who flew the L-1011, who did not love it.
I am confused as to your views on competition. You complain that there is a lack of competition in Trinidad, but when Bwee goes out to compete vigorously, you also complain.
Aleong has declared that in BWIAs sphere of operation, it will either cooperate, or compete strenuously, with anyone in the area.
The evidence on the charter operators seems to point to the fact that, at least in the case of Tower, the fares were not economically viable.
Predatory pricing is rampant in the Caribbean, and Aleong has promised he will match any competitive fares wherever he can. He does state that he would prefer sensible fares, but will do everything necessary to hold on to market share.
I have a suspicion that the so called threatening letter may not be the type of threat you infer, but more a legal threat, we will see(maybe!).
By the way what did Bwee/Trinidad do to you, you seem to have a serious case of sour grapes.:D

User currently offlineGunpowder From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Sep 2000, 39 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1725 times:

Why, the consultants of course!

User currently offlinePanman From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Aug 1999, 790 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1718 times:

This is just the type of post (along with the A vs B threads, and the shouts of RUDDER whenever a 737 crashes) that made me stop reading this forum for a few months (after this think I will stick to the Technical forum).

The last time there was a rant like this about BWIA was just after the incident with the Tower Air 747 where a post was made accusing BWIA of causing the incident.

Your first 6 points sound totally like what happens to a small airline when things go wrong. Do you think these incidents don't happen to AA, BA, UA, VS and others. The reason it doesn't affect the bigger airlines so much is that with over 300 aircraft if something should happen where one has to be withdrawn from service a replacement aircraft can easily be called into action. BWIA does not have that luxury so whenever something like that happens it will adversely affect the rest of the schedule.

As for that glidescope incident, could you expand on it. The way you have said it 'the glidescope indicator went dead' sounds vague. In today's glass cocpit aircraft if one pilot's display failed then there is a backup in the other pilot's display, plus one of the other screens could have been changed to give the ILS indication in any event. If it was both pilots (as I assume you mean) then it's highly unlikely that it would happen at the same time to both pilot's instruments - it is more likely that Piarco's ILS failed. If it wasn't then BWIA needs to discuss some issues with Boeing about instrument reliability.

You complain about predatory tactics yet you have American Airlines/American Eagle demanding that the islands in the Caribbean pay them USD $1 million in order for AA to provide a service to them, and if the island refuses then they pull out - ask the Grenadians about this.

In the original post 3 incidents with supposed 'malicious intent' were described. Vehicles running into aircraft happens everyday, especially at major airports, you want some examples go to http://www.open.gov.uk/aaib/ which is the site of the UK Air Accidentt Investigations Branch. There are quite a few incidents in there where aircraft have had holes put in them by ground equipment.

Now I just know I am going to be accused of being a BWIA lover, and that I 'live in the UK and don't know the state of affairs in Trinidad' - but this story to me seems to be the rant of someone who has a serious problem with BWIA. I prefer to read accurate and intelligent topics when it comes to dissecting an airline to find it's faults but this just smacks of heresay - 'a mysterious group', 'malicious intent', 'freak incidents', 'skullduggery', all the phrases of the romantic novelist, not the avid aviation fan. Arre you a write with the 'Bomb' or 'Punch' or 'Mirror'? Better yet National Enquirer?

I have had bad experiences with BWIA (and British Airways, and Pan Am, and JMC/Caledonian, and Air Canada, and ...) in the past but I don't think it warrants me getting on an international forum and complaining. This is PETTY.

I think I will stick to PPRUNE and the technical forum if posts like this keep popping up in this forum.


User currently offline737-800ng From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1714 times:

I agree with you totally Gunpowder. I wonder how many of the BWIA bashers work for airlines in competition with BWIA. For years everyone complained about the amount of money that BEEWEE was losing, now that they are doing things to change that it is a different story. Do you think that JM/LI/C2 or any other airline that is worth its salt would do different if it could.
JM is losing millions of US dollars every year and people seem to be comfortable with that. I say hats off to BEEWEE for taking the bold step to take on the giants.

User currently offlineTrintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3297 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1697 times:

I do not have any problems with BWee taking on the big guns or aiming to remain profitable. After all, BWee is a well-respected and recognised carrier in world aviation, having been a pioneer in Caribbean aviation and having survived against all sorts of long odds such as World War 2, natural and political disasters (eg 1990 coup attempt in Trinidad, which greatly upset their busy summer schedule that year) and competition by larger airlines. They are an excellent carrier and I continue to support them as a patriotic Trinidadian.

Despite this, however, the point needs to be remembered that any sort of monopoly tends to stifle a market and that is my main point in this thread. Airfares here are quite high, largely because BWee dominates most routes out of POS (MIA and BGI are exceptions while TAB has fixed airfares). This is not a unique phenomenon to POS; just look at any US city which is a hub to one carrier, or which has most of its service provided by one airline and you would see the same pattern. This sort of thing has caused much controversy over there and it is good that somebody could bring it up about POS.

Again, I do not condone any sort of threats to aviation safety - that is completely unacceptable.

All the same, it shows how interesting Caribbean aviation has become in recent times. In the Eastern Caribbean alone (Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago) a number of carriers have sprung up, all competing for the market. Apart from BWIA and its regional arm BWee Express and LIAT, Air Jamaica has a regional wing called EC Xpress based in BGI and serving DOM, SLU, SVD, GND and soon TAB. A new ANU based carrier, Caribbean Star, is also spreading its wings southward and will soon start flying to POS. Meanwhile American Eagle from SJU remains a force despite its dropping several cities (TAB, GND and also Martinique (FDF)) from its roster. In spite of this, though, airfares have not really dropped, except in the southernmost islands where Air Caribbean offers discount fares.

This is Caribbean aviation for the new millennium.


Hop to it, fly for life!
User currently offlineGunpowder From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Sep 2000, 39 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1687 times:

You state that fares are high in the Caribbean.
Can you back that up with some examples of similar distances that are lower cost elsewhere?
I think that you will find that, in general, fares in the Caribbean on a per mile basis are quite competitive.
That is why it is so hard to make a profit in this area, especially given the relatively primitive conditions that you have to work in.
Don't forget you are complaining that BWee is driving competition out by use of predatory pricing.
It's got be one or the other, which is it?

User currently offlineRuslan From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1694 times:

Well, you know what Joseph Joubert said..
"It is better to debate a questionable situation without settling it, than it is to settle a questionable situation without debate."

I decided to take his advice, I guess. If it meant being taken for a vindictive bitch, then so be it!
What can I say, but have fun!


User currently offlineAviador From Argentina, joined Feb 2012, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (15 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1683 times:

Well said! That's what people seem to get these days when they have the courage to oppose something that the masses have decided to engrave in stone, if you get what I mean.

If BWIA insists on looking for trouble, sooner or later it must be expected that someone will come around who can help them find it.

A word of advice from a friend - if you hear, see or know anything else at anytime, you can contact me rather than add to the stupid argument going on here, that can no longer be objective.


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