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Bahamasair Outsource Saves Money Without Losing Jobs

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMASAIR will save "hundreds of thousands" of dollars with a new move to outsource some of its reservation services, though no employees will be fired in the process, chairman Tommy Turnquest said yesterday.

Nine employees from the airline's reservations department will be redeployed and are expected to learn about their future in a meeting with the managing director today.

Mr Turnquest said some reservation services will be outsourced to Island Outsources in Grand Bahama, the company that serves as a call centre for the Ministry of Tourism.

"To say the reservations department is being outsourced is not totally true other than the reservations department that people call into is going to go to a call centre and it is our intention to use the same call centre that the Ministry of Tourism uses," he said.

"Much of Bahamasair's ticket sales are done either online through the internet or by the city ticket offices with one in Oakes Field and one in Palmdale and Grand Bahama."

Mr Turnquest said although the airline remains overstaffed, officials there oppose mass redundancies.

"We've reduced the staff since I became chairman mostly through attrition or through employees being dismissed for disciplinary reasons," he said. "But we're not just going to say we're going to get down to a particular number and we're going to get there by just slashing employees one time. That's not the intention but Bahamasair is overstaffed."

As for savings from the new plan, he said: "This reduces the cost considerably. It also helps with the realignment of the organisation. Where we would have had to hire additional persons, by now moving around some personnel I would say hundreds of thousands of dollars (will be saved). If we didn't reassign the employees, we would have to hire new employees. As an example, we recently engaged 12 new cabin attendants. They all came from existing posts within the organisation. With the eight planes we have, there are a certain amount of pilots we need and flight attendants we need. We recognised we were short in terms of cabin attendants so we engaged 12 but they all came from other areas of the organisation. The alternative, which nobody wants to happen, would be redundancies. We're not doing that.

"We try to do the best to right-size Bahamasair in a human way to make sure no one goes home. You talk to some people, they think Bahamasair should pay its own way. Bahamasair currently gets $14m from the government. In a year or so it's probably going to need an additional $20m to assist with the $120m loan that was negotiated back in 2016. The money got to come from somewhere and there is as school of thought among some Bahamians that Bahamasair should do what it needs to do and carry its own weight. I don't share that view. I think government has a responsibility to Bahamasair. It provides a necessary transportation link."

Comments

birdiestrachan 2 years, 4 months ago

The Truth is only Tommy Turnquest of the FNM party need to work. He just hangs around until the FNM party wins so they can give him a job, otherwise from that he is useless.

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DDK 2 years, 4 months ago

The things these politicians say either make you cuss or leave you speechless.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 4 months ago

Most of us wish Tommy T would simply flap his big ears real hard and fly away to some far off place. To think this incompetent bungling idiot was given the chairmanship of Bahamasair by Minnis is sickening to many of us. Tommy T has spent his entire life to date clinging to his daddy's coat tails for dear life. The silver spoon he was born with in his mouth has only made a fool of him because he has proven time and time again to be nothing but an abject flunky at everything that was ever laid at his feet by birth right alone. And to think he (and his daddy) actually thought he might be PM of the Bahamas some day. Now that's a real joke!

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OldFort2012 2 years, 4 months ago

I regularly fly to Florida. Sometimes tickets on American are $900 return, while Bahamasair is $300 for the same dates. If Bahamasair disappeared none of us could afford to fly to Florida, or indeed tourists to come here. We would be stuck. I am not normally in favor of subsidies for business but this does seem to be a service of vital national importance which needs to be protected by the Government.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 4 months ago

That is the REAL purpose of Bahamasair!!!!!!!!!!! .......... But Tommy T should look at cutting back on domestic routes while letting the Government put in place a subsidized system to allow smaller domestic carriers (Sky, Western, Southern, etc.) to service the Out Islands at affordable rates ........ Like air mailboats ........... Bahamasair must become profitable and sustainable to increase our stopover tourist numbers.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 4 months ago

And just who do you think pays one way or another for the staggering losses incurred each year by Bahamasair? Answer: Those like you who must pay the many taxes, duties and fees levied on us each year by the government. If you're fool enough to think Bahamasair is a discount airline that benefits you, then all I can say to you is your ignorance must be bliss. There is no such thing as a free lunch my friend.....and whenever inefficient governments interfere with 'free' market forces (pun fully intended), it is the taxpayers who get royally screwed for more than they would have otherwise paid.

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PastorTroy 2 years, 4 months ago

@OldFort2012 * I am not normally in favor of subsidies for business but this does seem to be a service of vital national importance which needs to be protected by the Government. TOTALLY AGREE. #NationalPrideCarrier

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tetelestai 2 years, 4 months ago

It is Old Fort 2012. And anyone who disputes this is a raging ignoramus.

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Jetflt 2 years, 4 months ago

Bahamasair has been ridiculously over staffed since it began operating, and as long as its a government run entity, it will continue to be overstaffed and unreliable. The company needs to be run like a private business and decisions need to based on what’s best for the company, not what’s best for the political party in power and the electorate. Novel concept for the Government that they will never grasp because neither the PLP or FNM have the backbone to say we are going to run this airline like an airline should be run and we are going to have to make some difficult decisions along the way that is in the best interest of the company, its customers and shareholders.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 4 months ago

Name me ONE national government that is run like a private business ....... and BTW: 50% of all startup businesses fail within the first 5 years ....... Go figger

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bogart 2 years, 4 months ago

Plenty issuess here...

Outsourcing...why outsourse to Jamaican?? Company in Freeport..what is da net effect? OVERSTAFFING.....if yinna overstaffed...why should 2500 Bahamians gets laid off from govt costing some 10 million annually and taxpayers paying the same 10 millon in interest amount...j to keep Bahamas air overstaffed How does one Govt section one week ago like BPL lays off 300? Staff cause dey streamlining to save and revitalize company....and next govt company like Bahamasair aont doing the same..?.??? Overstaffing meaning yinna does hav more than the regular crew to efficiently operate the company....so what do these extra overstaffed employees do ......??? Why spend any extra money on overstaffing is like flying in a full plane wid four pilots, ten steuardesses, tourists and offload dem at some run down out island airport and have de tourosts lining up outsode in sun an rain waiting to grts processed...???

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BahamaLlama 2 years, 4 months ago

They owe $120M and can't pay it. They move 9 people, probably at $20-30k.

So they "saved" $200,000-ish on the books.

BahamasAir needs to be actually run as a real company, not a welfare program.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 4 months ago

True, they have 8 planes and 800 employees ............ BOL

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Clamshell 2 years, 4 months ago

They didn’tveven save the $200K, as the 9 employees are still on the payroll. SMH

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sealice 2 years, 4 months ago

without losing jobs??? WTF so these fools did the same thing the last fools did and hire more people to make the lame lamb that is Bahamas air even fatter?

Dey really tink we stupid?

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