Mah4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 31722 posts, RR: 72 Posted (11 years 8 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 15969 times:
A new Haitian airline, Haiti Caribbean Airlines, will start service using NAA 757-200s 4x a week on the JFK-PAP route this June, increasing to daily by year's end. In December, they will also add twice weekly MIA-PAP and YUL-PAP (JFK, Miami, and Montreal are the worlds three largest Haitian d. The airline, owned by a group of wealthy Haitain investors in Miami, hopes to offer Haitians an affordable way to get to Haiti and will be the only Hatiain carrier currently flying to the US. air d'Ayiti was forced to suspend thier daily Miami to Port-Au-Prince service at the end of 2001 because of issues with Aero Continente, which provided them with the 767 to use on the route, but hopes to resume service soon (as a Category 2 nation, they can't fly thier own planes to MIA). The new airline has $200,000 start up money and expects tickets to cost $450 round-trip.
Currently between the US and Haiti, AA offers daily service from JFK and 3x daily service from MIA (4x daily during the holiday season), Air France offers 3x a week service from MIA, Air France Regional offers 7x a week service from MIA, airALM offers 4x a week service from MIA (codeshare with UA), Dutch Caribbean Airways just this Monday inagurated 3x a week service from MIA, and Lynx International offers 3x a week service from FLL to Cape Haitien and 1x a week service from OPF (Opa Locka, Florida) to Cape Haiten. This summer, AA will fly (summer only), 2x a week between Boston and Port-Au-Prince.
So, will the Haitian-American community switch over from using American and Air France flights to this new carrier? Passing the AA CTO in Miami's Little Haiti almost daily, I will say one thing, the place is always packed, as opposed to most CTOs I see.
Chepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6095 posts, RR: 11 Reply 3, posted (11 years 8 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 15911 times:
If the airline offers reliable service then I'm prety sure the Haitian community will suport the carrier. Miami has a big Haitian community so I think another airline flying the MIA-PAP route could do well on the route. A route that I do think is underserved is the JFK-PAP route, I'm sure that another airline would do well on that route . I can just imagine the high fares AA should be charging on this route as they have a monopoly on the route.
Mah4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 31722 posts, RR: 72 Reply 5, posted (11 years 8 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 15889 times:
Chepos, I was surprised, but fares are not that bad. JFK-PAP on AA (dep. JFK 01May02, dep. PAP 08May02) is only $354. Not bad at all. I got only $256 for MIA-PAP on the same dates (all three dailies were the same price; first class fare on MIA-PAP is $725). AA is not the only carrier on the route, but AA offers much better choices and departure times than Air France (even when Air France has two daily MIA-PAPs, they both leave within 40 minutes of each other, all early in the morning). YUL-PAP came in at $511 (via MIA).
Chepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6095 posts, RR: 11 Reply 7, posted (11 years 8 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 15861 times:
Tol Air I read in the vocero (0nline) that this month Aerotropical would launch flights between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Aerotropical is supposedly a new Puerto Rican airline being formed that is also planning on starting flights between BQN and JFK. About PR Airways I haven't heard anything, were have you heard about PR Airways ?
Trintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3211 posts, RR: 4 Reply 8, posted (11 years 8 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15834 times:
It is good to hear about a new airline from Haiti, especially given that country's rough political and economic history which has caused many airlines to fail in the past. One would hope that eventually they can get matters sorted out and obtain Category I status but that may be a few years off yet.
Mah4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 31722 posts, RR: 72 Reply 13, posted (11 years 8 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15805 times:
Yyz717, yes PAP is very high-yielding. All four of AA's flights to PAP from MIA and JFK are A300s that fill up all the time. This summer's BOS-PAP is a 738 and the seasonal 4th daily MIA-PAP that runs during the winter is usually a 738. AA offers the only JFK-PAP service, but is one of four carriers on MIA-PAP (AF (both mainline and express), N8, and LM also fly it; N7 service is temporarily suspended on the route until they can find a plane to wet-lease).
FLYYUL, here is an article from yesterday's South Florida Business Journal. One error, though, is that it states that AA has only one daily MIA-PAP:
Haiti gets a lift: Family embarks on airline startup
A Haitian-American family living in South Florida is seeking U.S. approval to launch a new Port-Au-Prince-based airline to serve the passenger market between Haiti, the United States and Canada.
Harry V. Vieux, along with wife, two brothers and two cousins, plan to launch Haiti Caribbean Airline in June, flying four weekly flights initially between the island's capital Port-Au-Prince and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. The service is expected to increase to daily by the end of the first year.
The family-owned company also plans to add two-weekly scheduled services to Miami and Montreal in December.
Haiti Caribbean Airline is betting it can succeed by offering later departure times and larger luggage allowances.
American Airlines is the largest scheduled commercial carrier flying that route with a daily service between Port-Au-Prince and Miami (CORRECTION: THRICE DAILY). Air France and Dutch Caribbean, formerly ALM, offer regular service between Miami and Haiti.
Air d'Ayiti, the nation's only carrier serving Miami, suspended flying to South Florida in late 2001.
Departure times, rather than price, are what could distinguish Haiti Caribbean from industry giant American, Vieux said.
"I am not trying to undercut American," said Vieux, Haiti Caribbean's chairman and president. "I am not really running a competition with American. The strategy is to provide the Haitian community more options. Right now, they don't have that much."
American's daily flight leaves Miami at 1:35 p.m. and New York at 10 a.m. Vieux said he intends to set his departures no earlier than 3:30 p.m. to allow business people more time to conduct their schedules and catch a flight back the next day.
Another selling point, Vieux said, will be the airline's "flexibility" in accepting more and heavier passenger luggage for Haitians shopping in the United States and Canada.
Haitian nationalism is another factor Vieux said could help the airline continue beyond the first 18 months accounted for with startup money of $200,000.
"We don't have an airline that we can call our own," Vieux said. "It is very important to us. The Haitians have been complaining about it."
He estimated there are 100,000 Haiti expatriates in South Florida alone, said Vieux, who has a home in Plantation.
Besides continuous political and economic problems in the country of 8.8 million, another primary reason Haiti doesn't have its own airline relates to the country's questionable civil aviation authority, from a U.S. perspective.
The Department of Transportation has deemed Haiti a "category 2" country, meaning its civil aviation authority oversight doesn't meet international standards. That means any Haitian carriers can only fly to the United States if they use aircraft operated by companies, usually charters, based in category 1 countries.
This arrangement, known as a "wet-lease agreement," generally means higher operational costs for the startup airlines.
If granted U.S. approval, Haitian Caribbean Airlines proposes to partner with North American Airlines of Jamaica, N.Y., according to the DOT application.
Vieux knows North American Airlines from his current job where he is the manager of the New York-based tour company Travel Span, overseeing flight coordination, control and manifest responsibilities. Travel Span charters planes from North American Airlines.
Bruno Scaldaferri of North American Airlines, who negotiated the agreement with Haiti Caribbean Airlines, did not return several calls seeking comment.
The airline plans to fly a Boeing 757 airplane with all 214 seats sharing the same class of service, according to the application. All roundtrip tickets from New York are projected to cost about $450, but CFO Jacques Vieux said the company would remain competetive with American, the only other airline to fly from JFK to Port-Au-Prince. American currently charges about $400 with taxes.
The airline projects revenues of $1.01 million in the first month of service in June, before growing to $1.32 million in December. The first fiscal year's revenues are estimated to top $14.36 million with a net income of $1.18 million, according to the application.
"These projections are based upon conservative estimates but nevertheless project a modest and consistent profit in the third and succeeding months of service," according to the airline's application. If the airline's income is higher than what it projects after eight months, it will add a flight during the high season, beginning Dec. 15.
The U.S.-Haiti passenger market still has room to grow, said Stuart Klaskin, a principal in the Coral Gables aviation consulting firm Klaskin Kushner & Co. Haiti Caribbean Airline, however, should not automatically assume that Haitian-Americans will fly the carrier regardless of its service and price, he said.
"My experience is, initial operational forecasts are much more optimistic than reality proves them to be," Klaskin said. "While I think they are being optimistic, I don't think they are egregiously optimistic."
Haiti Caribbean Airline incorporated in October, and obtained necessary government approval from Haiti in November. On March 25, the airline filed its application with the DOT.
The application is now in a 15-day public comment period after which a decision will be made, said DOT spokesman Bill Mosley in Washington, D.C.
"If there are no objections filed and no other reason not to, we would act anytime after the 15-day period," Mosley said.
E-MAIL ASSOCIATE EDITOR Peter Zalewski at PZalewski@bizjournals.com.
Planeawesome From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 103 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (11 years 8 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 15795 times:
I flew YUL-MIA-PAP-MIA-YUL a couple of years ago. My return MIA-PAP flight was 100% full both ways.
Since there is really no industry located in Haiti,everything (I mean everything) is packed and loaded as excess baggage by industrious "entrepreneurs" and flown in on commercial flights.
Haiti is not in the 3rd world. It is literally on another planet. I've never seen anything like it. It's a survival of the fittest society but not without some bizzarely beautiful things when you least expect it.
Out of around 300 people on my flight about 295 were Haitians. There is virtually no demand from anybody to fly there except ex-pat Haitians. It is definately not a place for the faint hearted. The value of human life is incredibly low in Haiti.
Mah4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 31722 posts, RR: 72 Reply 16, posted (11 years 8 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 15793 times:
Planeawesome, overall your assumptions are right. There is a small market for American tourists to Haiti, but for the most part it is an undiscovered market, and most American tourists in Haiti probably come from Miami and New York City, since they are surrounded by large Haitan communites and want to discover Haiti for themselves. It is my understanding that Cape Haiten is the area that aims more for the tourists (little-known Lynx Air offers service to Cape Haiten from Ft. Lauderdale and Miami/Opa Locka), though. Definitley not Port-Au-Prince. Those 5 Americans on the flight were most likely business travelers. I myself have visited Port-Au-Prince twice and agree with your assumptions. It is very surreal, but I did enjoy my visits.