RISK-SHARING, COVID-19 PROTOCOLS: IMPORTANT TO AIRLIFT DEALMAKERS

The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

Risk-sharing and COVID-19 protocols, across the Caribbean region, are serious hurdles to overcome during negotiations for new airlift to Anguilla, said Mr Kendell Richardson, quality assurance manager at MICUHT.
Mr Richardson, accompanied by Mrs Stacey Liburd, Director of Tourism, attended the annual World Routes conference held in San Antonio, Texas, February 15-17. They met with representatives from six major airline carriers, three tourism authorities, and two aviation consultants – to discuss the opening of new airlift opportunities for Anguilla.

Speaking on Monday, February 28, at the Government’s weekly press briefing, Mr Richardson gave a comprehensive report of their representation at the World Routes conference, and responded to questions posed to him by members of the media.
Mr Richardson reported that American Airlines is pleased with its Miami/Anguilla routes, especially its bookings and load factors. The airline is currently looking into the second half of its summer schedule to assess the feasibility of maintaining the daily flights scheduled to commence in April, 2022.

Discussions with American Airlines also included possible marketing opportunities and vacation packages, as well as some technical aspects relating to the Miami to Anguilla route – obstacles that are being addressed by the Government of Anguilla.
Discussions with other major airlines’ representatives included the possibility of connectivity between Anguilla and the northeast United States. These airlines showed an interest in serving Anguilla as a destination, but also stressed the need for “risk-sharing” which could include MOU agreements or other types of incentives.
Some airlines requested details on the runway at the Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport and the possibility of its expansion; expressed an interest in the number of private jets that are coming to Anguilla, and the level of seaport traffic in and out of St. Maarten.

Some of our Caribbean regional airlines’ representatives expressed interest in developing routes to Anguilla, but also indicated that the challenges posed by the various COVID-19 protocols within the Caribbean are too challenging. Until these challenges are resolved, those airlines will “put a hold on any new routes in the Caribbean region,” Mr Richardson noted.

World Routes is an international event which represents the global meeting place for every airline, airport and aviation stakeholder. The event presents a platform for route development professionals to discuss, develop and plan network strategy.