VS plans to increase LGW-ANU from three to four per week and change from the 332 to the 333. However this will not be an increase in capacity as I believe the 332 is a 266-seater (19 Upper, 35 Premium, 212 Economy) and the 333 to be 264-seater (31, 48, 185). No matter how you look at it, a reduction from six to four flights a week is significant in this market.
IMO, the fact that the cancellation is being announced this far in advance is to allow both sides to be able to come to some sort of agreement. I doubt that it benefits either side to have VS drop UVF. UVF will lose out on airlift and VS will lose one of the more popular Caribbean destinations.
It's not good at all, the question will be who will take up the slack? VS leaving will have an almost 1000 seats per week being lost in the EC market. So will TUI or Thomas Cook fill the void? Or will BA increase flights if demand is there?
The fact that they are adamant and already scheduling for the Summer next year means this is serious, however it looks like there is still sine time for negotiations to continue.
GND is subsidizing LI GND BGI routes. In fact that is a model that LI should adopt. Rather than crying for gov'ts to sink money into a hole they should identify the routes which aren't profitable and then demand a subsidy, or the route to be withdrawn. And I dont mean sectors that are part of a profitable route, such as SLU SVD which exists mainly to allow more service on the BGI SLU and BGI SVD routes by combining them.
And I really think on the POS market LI and BW should work out arrangements, like maybe a codeshare. No point 2 loss making carriers running half empty planes.
I have already posted that in a rational world a little carrier like BW should not be operating two fleets (used to be three until the two 763s were returned to ILFC in 2016) and the island hopping should be done by LIAT. But Caribbean aviation is not rational, and LIAT's dire straits can only encourage the TnT government to keep their airline operating the way it is.
BW will never be a one fleet aircraft. LI would never serve POS-TAB at the levels desired by the GoRTT and as long as BW has to serve that route, it will operate its ATR to other destinations to fully maximize usage and to attempt to offset losses on the domestic air bridge by flying more profitable routes (in theory, at least). The only way BW becomes a single fleet carrier is if the GoRTT starts a spin off airline whose sole focus is the domestic air bridge and I think they have realized it's better for them to have that service covered by a larger airline that can offset costs elsewhere than to prop up an airline solely dedicated to that service.
Agreed it's not going to happen, the two fleet strategy works for CAL as has been shown many times, they airlines operations are profitable. The part is adding a third fleet to fly long haul never works.
The last time there was a dedicated airline on the POS-TAB route, Air Caribbean, they had to add Miami to their network to offset some of the losses and eventually collapsed.
The GOTT requires CAL to operate the POS-TAB route, there is no way LI can operate 42-48 flights per day between the two islands at a loss, unless the GOTT also covers all the losses there too. As we saw last year CAL lost about TT42m operating that route while the international operaitrons made a profit.
LIATs probems stems from their strategy, as CaribNY theorized it seems they may not truly understand their operation flow; The Northern Caribbean has been significantly cut over the years, with ANU traffic declining? BGI seems to have seen an increase in connecting traffic. If that is the case then there needs to be a serious evaluation of the airline's hub structure and traffic flow.
Also I am not sure why LI operates the POS-BGI route when it is clear they are not making any competitive headway against BW. POS-BGI is highly profitable route for CAL served 3 daily. If you look at the fares CAL is constantly higher with higher loads, why not just code share on that route to reduce their exposure.
POS-GND CAL also carries a significant number of the O&D market
I also know the POS-ANU route even 2 week has contribution high margins for that flight segment.
Also the lower travel between islands as the North American Airlines have added a number of fights and the ridiculous taxes added over the years are beating down LI.