|Quoting A388 (Reply 20):|
I do hope Caribbean Airlines gets the flight as it will mean nice aircraft photos in SXM in their hummingbird livery over Mahoo Beach
BW already serve SXM and have done so for their entire existence. SXM is served on the POS - KIN runs. Predecessor BWIA started flying to SXM in the 1980s, linking KIN in a route on which JM kept a codeshare for many years.
On the topic of BW and the LGW route, I have always had my doubts as to whether it was a wise decision on their part to restart London services. BW of course inherited the LHR route from BWIA in 2007 but the predecessors found it difficult going notwithstanding a POS monopoly. The trouble was that POS was and is a smaller market from the UK than many other islands - and BWIA ended up head-to-head with BA and VS in destinations such as BGI, UVF and ANU. BWIA were also stuck with a fleet of A340s which were largely a holdover from the Category 2 days of T&T (2001 - 2004) but which the airline could not afford to replace and could not easily be used on other routes. As a result the route lost money and BW cut it shortly after starting up in 2007.
With BW's withdrawal came BA who retained a BW codeshare on the LGW services. At that time too POS traffic increased significantly from the UK due to increasing business links. The thing is that much of the business traffic, especially that which is UK based, would preferentially use BA if there were a choice of airlines and so BW's arrival may have made little impact into that. BW's start in LGW in 2012 was clearly aimed at the VFR market and POS based travellers - but as mentioned the VFR market to the UK from most Caribbean markets (Jamaica being the main exception) is static if not declining.
Now we see that VS have pulled TAB. In comparing BA and VS services from this beautiful island with an unfortunately troubled tourist industry, we can see that BA have advantages which VS did not have. BA is strong in POS and wants to preserve their market share so have tried to avoid the public relations fallout which could arise from a TAB withdrawal. Alongside this their TAB flights effectively provide back-up capacity to POS which could be useful at peak times. With revenue guarantees being offered for TAB (not POS) services, BA are in a win-win position. VS had no interest in POS and so did not have the same considerations as BA which meant that pulling TAB was easier for them. The fact that VS have significant DL investment now and are being reviewed - a review which has seen them drop SYD too - also needs to be remembered in the context of this pullout.