Caymanair
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 4:53 am

Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Wed Dec 01, 2004 10:17 am

Hi all,

I've been studying the Airline industry in Haiti for a while. From what I can see, Haiti is very underserved. American Airlines is the largest carrier in the country, and I've seen them charge up to $900US in the hemispheres poorest country for a roundtrip flight to Miami! I've read that they refuse to offer discount fares to the country. Reports have also shown that the service is poor and the Haitians are treated badly, but they don't have much choice. Air d'Ayiti, Air Haiti, and Haiti Trans Air seemed to be failures because of curruption, bad management, and under capitalization. Haitians have lost trust in Haitian carriers especially after Air d'Ayiti was shut down because of trafficking drugs. I think that the airlines serving Haiti have created a near monopoly and are disrespecting the country.

Now, in my opinion, Haiti is a great market for a new airline to emerge. An airline that offers REASONABLE prices, treats passenger with RESPECT and has management that operates proffessionally. With aircraft that are not 25 years old (maybe 737-300/400) and decent financing, an airline could make a profit and gain thet trust of Haitians (all 8.5 million of them).

What do you think? Any points you might differ on? What other carriers serve Haiti (other than AJ, AA, and AC)?


Donovon
 
PanAm747
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:19 am

Some things to know about Haiti:

1) Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. It is also one of the most overcrowded in the world. Most of the population lives in tragic poverty.

2) The political situation in Haiti is tenuous, at best. It took the U.S. military might to enforce the first democratic election (Jean Bertand-Aristide), and now the military has been called back in there when he was impeached.

3) There is zero tourist travel at the moment. There is simply no infrastructure to support most public services, much less any visitors' needs.

4) A friend of mine in the navy told me when he was stationed there a while back, all personnel had to receive 12 innoculations before they were allowed to set foot in Haiti.

5) AA and the other airlines that fly there do so at great risk. There are no overnight stopovers. All flights leave before dark. And if you think they make money off the passengers, you can imagine what they make on air cargo!!

It is very sad to see a country with so much potential be so totally helpless and unable to solve any of its many problems. Until it does, more flights will not be forthcoming.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
miamix707
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:48 am

Another for the list of defunct Haitian carriers: Halisa Air with 737s and 727s, which flew during the early to mid-90s
 
Clipper002
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:13 am

You spend 2 hours checking in a flight from JFK to PAP and then come back and tell me something about respect. In all of my career I've never dealt with such insulting passengers , if you can call them that. And that includes checking in flights to destinations throughout Africa including LOS.

Ed
Ed
 
MAH4546
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:27 am

Air d'Ayiti is still around. They offer three flights a week on MIA-PAP using Falcon Air 727s. Air France is also on the MIA-PAP route, but American Airlines dominates it with both MIA-PAP and FLL-PAP. They also command very high fares on the route, because they limit capacity with respect to demand. There are a significantly less daily seats on MIA-PAP than demand warrants, mainly due to lack of compieition (neither Air France or Air d'Ayiti are daily). AA uses this to their advantage to charge very high fares...but that's how a business works, and Port Au Prince is one of AA's most profitable stations.
a.
 
Caymanair
Topic Author
Posts: 433
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 4:53 am

RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:47 am

In my experience with Haitian passengers, They are some of the most polite and thoughtful passengers around. Granted, they are some times hard to deal with mainly because of low education. Many can't read a boarding pass correctly or don't quite understand the processes that they have to go through to travel. But still they are polite and are appreciative of whatever gets them back home. They are the ones that are disrespected and insulted, mainly by the treatment they get from AA.

Air d'Ayiti is still operating, as you said, but they lost the confidence of Haitians when they were caught for drug trafficking, which is why I continue to belive that if a competitive, proffession, and efficient airline enters the market, that they would be able to succceed.

As was mentioned earlier, AA provides much less capacity than is waranted, as does Air Canada, Air France, and Air Jamaica. The carriers charge outrageous prices which, if anything, is moraly wrong. Haiti is the poorest country in the hemisphere, yet AA keeps it as the company's most profitable
stations.

Donovon
 
latinaviation
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:52 am

Just a couple notes to this, as well.

There is zero tourist travel at the moment.

Not true. Cruise lines use a northern port in Haiti for day-long stopovers. It is primarily for the beach with a small tourist cachment. But I agree, overall, tourism and tourism infastructure is limited. There were plans to build a Hilton in Port-au-Prince to cater to the small business market, I don't know for certain but am sure this has been put on hold.

AA and the other airlines that fly there do so at great risk.

Overall, I would disagree. AA's unions would never let them fly to a destination that would put their crew members at risk. It's for this reason they don't overnight, you're correct, but AA would never intentionally put their crew at risk. Perhaps some of AA's ground personnel are put at risk traveling to/from the airport. Remember Air France's director of Haiti was assasinated there not too long ago.

Haitian start-ups in general.

It's a market not without entrepreneur's. Haiti Ambassaor and Haiti Intercontinental have all applied for US DOT authority in the past four years, to no avail. I believe it was Haiti Ambassador that planned to wet-lease a LAN 767 to fly JFK-PAP during the day when the plane sat idle at JFK.

There was also a plan for APA (Dom. Rep) to do some flying to Haiti from Miami with a 727-200, but this never materialized.

I suspect Charlie Voigt's name doesn't curry much favor in Haiti. Air D'Ayiti used to fly three weekly trips to JFK, but I don't think they're currently flying the route.

One note about AA's Haitian operations is while there is a significant revenue upside, there are also higher costs. AA has always had (or did have, if not any longer) an ex-pat run Haiti's operations. They also staff their flights with "Flight Service Directors" that assist the flight attendants in the cabin with Creole translation. And, of course, is AA's security, in general and as an expense item, even though their Haitian security director was recently indicted on drug trafficking. While the revenue picture is certainly beneficial to AA, there are added costs to achieving it.
 
Caymanair
Topic Author
Posts: 433
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:47 am

Why can't any of these carriers get permisssion to fly to the USA?
 
MAH4546
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:54 am

There is zero tourist travel at the moment.

Not true. Cruise lines use a northern port in Haiti for day-long stopovers.


It is one cruise line, Royal Caribbean. It is not a northern port, it is a strip of beach that is for use exclusively by Royal Caribbean cruise passengers.

There were plans to build a Hilton in Port-au-Prince to cater to the small business market, I don't know for certain but am sure this has been put on hold.

I belive there is a Sheraton opening soon near the airport in Port Au Prince.
a.
 
miamix707
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:59 am

I remember about a year or two ago Air d'Ayity flights were done by an Aero Continente 767 with very small stickers near the front door. For some reason the Air d'Ayity flight hadn't been listed in the Miami airport's website for a while, so I'm surprised to hear they're again using the Falcon Air 727, an aircraft which lately hasn't even been seen at Miami too often, at least not during the day.

DCA used to fly to Haiti from Miami when they were still around, but besides AA only Lynx Air, a communter airline, is flying there from Miami and FLL.
 
miamix707
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Thu Dec 02, 2004 9:03 am

Another long gone Haitian operator that came to mind, does anybody remember Hanair? They had a 727-100 around 1992, anybody knows more about this airline?
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Thu Dec 02, 2004 11:06 am

AA operates up to 8 flights a day to PAP, from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and New York. And mainly A300s too! It's a lot of traffic believe me!

Although there is NO tourism, there still are a lot of Haitian living abroad and needing to come back to support and visit their families. That makes for a LOT of traffic.

Since Dutch Caribean ceased to exist, AA pretty much has it all covered....
I personnally believe that AF should set up more flights between PAP and MIA, like a daily flight (at least) instead of the actual 3x a week (and at impossible hours). The traffic is there, AA provides as many flights as necessary to maintain their a/c full, and the service is terrible, and expensive. Haitians could really use an alternative.

All Haitian carriers (with leased a/c) have pretty much failed because of improper management, funds diverted for personnal use, illegal trafficking, etc..., even though there is a real market there! It's a shame, and it's bound to keep happening if new ones come along...

Again, believe me, there is a REAL market down there, hell if I had a couple million bucks I think I'd myself set up something... Of course AA wouldn't be too happy about that will do everything in its power to stop anyone who tries, so you'd have to have solid feet!

As far as the safety of the country, well. it's not THAT bad, but it ain't easy either, gotta be careful. Not too much of an issue for airlines though. Some extra precautions are needed, that's it.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
Dalmd88
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:04 pm

A couple of years ago I got to visit that strip of beach RCI uses. Due to a hurricane we go redirected to there. It is a fenced off compound that I don't think is on any of their current routes. The beach was ok but you could tell the country was very poor. We did some paddling around the bay on some canoes and were followed the entire time by two kids in a row boat trying to sell us hand carved stuff. They were actually nice kids but we didn't bring any cash with us so we didn't buy anything. BTW when I got back to the US I tried to give blood but the Red Cross wouldn't let me because I had been to Haiti in the past year.
 
Caymanair
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:44 am

Haiti's tourism industry is not totally lost......it'a a beautiful country that (as yet) has not been corrupted tourists. I myself am going in February for a week. Tourism could be fostered in the country if it could only be stabalized for any long period of time. During the Duvalier years, Haiti actually began to compete in the market, but Baby Doc saw it's deterioration.

Even with security and wealth issues, an airline could survive there. Poorer countries (Ethiopia, Bangladesh) have decent air service. The point is that Haiti has a lot of potential, but the democratic governments don't seem to be very effective at trying to attract investment. Surprisingly, the country grew more steadily under a dictator.
 
Caymanair
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Sat Dec 04, 2004 7:35 am

Just a couple questions that I have: Where do most Haitian immigrants go? (Don't include Miami, New York, Boston, or Montreal)

and from before: why cant carriers get permission to fly from PAP to the USA?

Can a 737 fly into CAP? is there any service from CAP?
 
miguel0881
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:52 am

RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Sat Dec 04, 2004 7:51 am

I believe most Haitians in USA are in South Florida (Broward and Miami-Dade).
Actually, I don't think the MIA/FLL-PAP route is overly expensive. AF consistently has had fares in the $200/rt range, while AA is more, but not usually over $350 or so, and that's with taxes. I don't know where you've seen $900 fares on this route (although maybe they're there during certain periods). I actually considered going to PAP for a weekend prior to the latest Aristide fiasco just to check it out, but I wouldn't go now. The AA fares to the Dominican Republic are in a comparable range (although you can do a more interesting routing...I'm doing MIA-STT-SJU-SDQ-MIA next year for $336), I don't think the fare to Haiti could be called excessive.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Sat Dec 04, 2004 8:04 am

Just a couple questions that I have: Where do most Haitian immigrants go? (Don't include Miami, New York, Boston, or Montreal)

Then what answer do you want?

The only significantly large Haitian communities immigrant communities in the US and Canada are in Miami/Fort Lauderdale, New York City, Montreal, and Boston. Miami's is by far the largest, some put estimates at near 450,000 including illegals (legal population is about 215,000). There are also some decently sized patches of Haitian communities in other areas of Florida, such as St. Lucie County.

Outside of that, there are large Haitiain communities in some Caribbean cities, including Kingston, Curaçao and Nassau.
a.
 
Caymanair
Topic Author
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Tue Dec 07, 2004 3:06 am

Ok.....I was just wondering if there were any other cities with large Haitian populations. But what I'm really interested in is why carriers can't get the permission they need to fly to the US.
 
luisde8cd
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RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Tue Dec 07, 2004 4:49 am

There's also a small Haitian community here in CCS. Dunno if there are Haitians outside CCS here in Venezuela.
 
latinaviation
Posts: 1162
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:25 pm

RE: Air Travel In Haiti/ New Carrier Possibility

Tue Dec 07, 2004 5:09 am

and from before: why cant carriers get permission to fly from PAP to the USA?

Which carriers are you referring to? To my knowledge, there are not open dockets to begin service. If you're referring to Haitian carriers, it's because Haiti is an FAA Cat II country. Like others, they would need to use an aircraft registered in a Cat I country, with crews, to operate the service.

Even though there is good business to be had, I suspect there is a lot of bureaucracy, risk and upfront costs that US carriers don't want to fork over for a market that American has sufficiently fulfilled anyways.

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