Categorized | National News

Bahamasair’s Domestic Routes Raise Concerns

Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said it’s up to Bahamians to decide if they want Bahamasair to continue servicing domestic routes or to focus more on international clients.

He noted that the government picks up all the losses of the airline and noted that it’s no secret that the airline receives a subsidy in excess of $20 million from the government, but has long been in the red.

“The question is, however, do the Bahamian people want Bahamasair to exit the domestic market or do they want the government to keep picking up the tab to subsidize operations to domestic destinations?” D’Aguilar asked during an interview with The Bahama Journal yesterday.     

“The political directorates decollate between the significant losses that Bahamasair incurs.  On the one hand, it helps to get foreign visitors and get Bahamians citizens to the Family of Islands, but at the same time its costing $20 million to do so.” 

This, he added, has been an age old question faced by successive governments. 

When asked if this administration intends to address the matter, Mr. D’Aguilar said, “I guess the political directorate has to gage what the Bahamian people want.” 

“Do they want Bahamasair to continue to perform its function at great expense or do they want Bahamasair to exit this market and allow private airline companies to do it?” he asked. 

“We all agree that even if the private airlines companies do it, there would probably have to be some subsidy involved to the private airline companies in order to allow them to go to destinations that are not highly trafficked.”  

The government he said is exploring the possibility of putting a hub in Exuma but that’s not been decided. 

The decision to stop Bahamasair’s domestic routes, he said, is a tough decision to make.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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