By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
SKY Bahamas said yesterday that it was seeing 80 to 85 per cent load factors on its recently re-launched Freeport-Fort Lauderdale route, highlighting what its chief executive described as a “very good summer” for the Bahamian-owned airline.
“This summer has been very good for Sky Bahamas and that is because there is such a great demand,” said Captain Randy Butler. “Most of the carriers will do well in the summer. We are trying to capture the business, remain creative, innovative and cut off all the frills. We just want to firstly make sure that the service is safe, efficient and practical.”
Commenting on the performance of the airline’s Freeport-Fort Lauderdale route re-launched last month Mr Butler said: “The Freeport route has taken off. We are probably doing a good 80-85 per cent of that route right now. I wish I could continue that through September. In September that kind of demand will fall off we expect.”
Sky Bahamas first introduced its Freeport-Fort Lauderdale service to Grand Bahama residents three years ago before discontinuing it.
Mr Butler said: “Family Island routes are doing well also but I think we will also see that fall off come September. I think load factors are well above 80 per cent on the Family Islands with the exception of Tuesdays and Wednesdays.”
Mr Butler said that fees levied by NAD, the Lynden Pindling International Airport’s (LPIA) operator, and taxes imposed by the government was significantly impacting domestic airlines. “It’s difficult if you look at the number of fees and taxes the government has levied, then look at what NAD is introducing. Increased fees and civil aviation has gone up. Bahamasair is keeping themselves going but we don’t get the subventions that they do. It seems that the government doesn’t care about the Bahamian business people because they take the taxes and give it to the carriers who compete against them,” Mr Butler said.