Valid point however when your main competiors are fielding more fuel-efficient planes on competitive routes you will have a problem. BW's oldest 737 is just shy of 19 years old. A good amount of life left but a plan should be coming together on their replacement.
I think that BWs approach has been to buy some time with a better IFE product (for those who use their devices on board) and seating for their better Y passengers who used to try to upgrade. Maybe after the election this might be addressed.
I doubt that the PNM would want the opposition to run around ranting that they are "wasting money on fancy planes when oil refinery workers are being thrown on the breadline". I do think that this issue must be under discussion as there were vague implications of this when the current CEO was feting his Guyana market.
BW needs to assess whether their Jamaican routes make sense as that market is increasingly competitive and BW continues to lose ground. Probably closure of those loss making routes might make new planes more palatable. Their lift is already a fraction of what it was when BW took over JM's routes and even into KIN they are increasingly becoming a non factor.
Interesting, however I'm not sure what the situation with PetroTrin has to do with CAL's strategic decisions; they are two different companies operating in two different competitive environments in two different industries. CAL's strategic plan 2018-2021 was approved by the board and cabinet a couple of months ago that includes the fleet evaluation and replacement plan.
The fact remains that CAL is leasing all of its 737NG fleet, which are coming to an end in early 2020 to mid 2021, and the airline has already concluded the RFP process to replace that fleet. The ATRs are staying as there is no competing a/c to replace it on the routes they operate on. As for the narrowbody fleet, it is being finalized that CAL will go with the 737MAX on a one for one replacement to the NGs and the first a/c is expected on property in late 2019.
That's good for TAB. For some strange reason they haven't been too successful in marketing to the North American visitor even though their tourism product isnt any worse than many of their competitors.
It isn't just the North American market which is embarrassing with only a weekly BW flight from JFK which continues onto POS: TAB has only BA and VS from LGW (twice weekly and weekly - but twice-weekly this winter) and DE from FRA (weekly). All flights are shared (ANU for BA, UVF for VS, BGI for DE). There are good hotels within a short drive from the airport and the beaches are fine as well. My understanding is governmental incompetence in promoting Tobago has resulted in far fewer visitors than you would expect to see. Neighbouring Grenada with similar tourism products does much better.
TAB is on par with GND in its European markets. At least in terms of its airlift. Its North America that it is behind. I really am not sure that governments can develop markets in the USA unless there is some other marketing muscle, or unless they are already well established, like Jamaica and the Bahamas. The major catalyst for BGI recapturing its US market was Sandals and then B6 expansion.
Maybe when the Sandals property opens up TAB will become more competitive. GND only began to boom in the US markets after Sandals opened up. It was more of a VFR and educational tourism market before that (St Georges Univ). BGI's US market became revitalized when they opened up properties on that island. SLU also became more of a factor several years ago when Sandals acquired properties on that island.
US travelers prefer the northern islands which is a big reason why TAB isnt popular. This might actually work to its advantage in that its seen as exotic with the whole Robinson Crusoe image. This might allow a more upmarket crowd as I dont see TAB ever becoming a mass market US destination, given that SXM and other islands are 1 hour nearer to the US.
The problem with Tobago's tourism are
a) Infrastructure: TAB's terminal is a joke and for years airlines have told the authorities to make improvements, imagine that POS has had a new terminal for 18 years now and TAB has seen very minor upgrades. VS and BA said they would like to do more strategic marketing and additional lift to the island however ever year they get complaints on the experience with pax waiting outside either in the hot sun or rain. It was why the Flight from Scandinavia has not returned. and airlines plan on not having 2 widebodies on the ground at the same time. The same goes for the cruise port.
b) Lack of recognized hotel brands and marketing; The last international hotel brand Hilton, left for the above reasons and that is why Sandals and the TAB terminal projects are going hand in hand. The government is also talking to another international brand on adding rooms to the island and finding someone to manage the current Magdalena Hotel(previously Hilton). TAB needs tp expand its room inventory and hopefully once all goes well, this issue will be resolved.
Once these are taken care of TAB can attract flights from Canada and the US and additional flights from the UK and Germany as well as new flights from other European countries.