Advisor to Tourism Clears the Air on Nevis Airlift

Advisor to Tourism in Nevis – Mr. Alastair Yearwood

NEVIS (April 5, 2010) – Advisor to Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Mr. Alastair Yearwood, set the record straight with regard to airlift on Nevis in an interview with the Department of Information, in light of what he said was too much misinformation being peddled in the media by the Opposition Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM).

Mr. Yearwood went on to say that the phrase “Nevisians banging water” had been used by member of the CCM the Hon. Mark Brantley, while he complained that he had to “bang water” in his travels through RLB Airport in St. Kitts.

“In order to leave no doubt, I would like to inform the public that there are multiple daily flights from the Nevis Airport to both St. Maarten and Antigua. From St. Maarten and Antigua you can make connections to the whole of North America, Europe and the Caribbean.

“I am left to conclude that the only reason to ‘Bang Water’ to St. Kitts to catch a plane is that you choose to do so, thus paying both customs and departure tax in St. Kitts. I urge Nevisians not to listen to misinformation being peddled by the opposition CCM, and utilize the Nevis Airport,” he said.

Mr. Yearwood listed the main points that had affected Nevis airlift and spoke of the suspension of the American Eagle daily flight in April 2009, which was due to the closure of the Four Seasons Resort. He explained that American Eagle stated that they would not reinstate flights into Nevis, until the Four Seasons reopened. This resulted in a net loss of 55 seats in and 55 seats out of Nevis.

With the failure of Carib Aviation in September 2008, LIAT ceased its two daily flights into Nevis. Thanks to the intervention of the Premier of Nevis, Hon. Joseph Parry, Mr. Yearwood said LIAT introduced a Dash 8 flight which increased the number of seats from 19 to 42 per plane. This resulted in a net gain of 46 ((42-19) x 2) seats in and 46 seats out of Nevis.

With regard to WINAIR, the Tourism Advisor said that airline service continued to operate three daily flights into Nevis, an increase of one flight per day which resulted in a net gain of 19 seats in and 19 seats out of Nevis.

“On the advice of the Airport Manager I have averaged the seating capacity of the ATR72 at 55 as they would fly different maximum payloads, depending on wind speed, wind direction and other weather conditions.

On the advice of the Airport Manager I have averaged the seating capacity of the DASH 8 at 42 as LIAT uses 2 different versions of airplanes; one has 37 seats while the other has 50 seats.

“Once you take the trouble to crunch the numbers, it becomes obvious that although the loss of the American Eagle flight has cost Nevis some 770 seats per week, the overall number of seats per week has increased by 140. This is not much but when one takes into account that we are in a global recession and 50 percent of our hotel plant has been lost, due to the closure of the Four Seasons Resort, this is a huge increase,” said Mr. Yearwood.

Below is a spread sheet showing the number of commercial airline seats available in and out of Nevis in October 2008 (prior to the closure of the Four Seasons) and in March 2010 (the situation as of Monday).

AUGUST 2008
DAILY AIR LIFT FOR VWA AIRPORT IN AUGUST 2008 (CAP. = CAPACITY)
AMERICAN EAGLE (ATR)LIAT (CARIB TWIN OTTER)WINAIR (TWIN OTTER)COASTAL AIR (CESSNA 403)
CAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFTCAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFTCAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFTCAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFT
55111101922769227680.430.437
TOTAL AVAILABLE SEATS DAILY269
WEEKLY AIR LIFT FOR VWA AIRPORT IN AUGUST 2008 (CAP. = CAPACITY)
AMERICAN EAGLE (ATR)LIAT (CARIB TWIN OTTER)WINAIR (TWIN OTTER)COASTAL AIR (CESSNA 403)
CAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFTCAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFTCAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFTCAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFT
557777019141453219141453283348
TOTAL AVAILABLE SEATS WEEKLY1,882
MARCH 2010
DAILY AIR LIFT FOR VWA AIRPORT IN MARCH 2010 (CAP. = CAPACITY)
AMERICAN EAGLE (ATR)LIAT (DASH 8)WINAIR (TWIN OTTER)COASTAL AIR (CESSNA 403)
CAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFTCAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFTCAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFTCAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFT
550004222168193311480.430.437
TOTAL AVAILABLE SEATS DAILY289
WEEKLY AIR LIFT FOR VWA AIRPORT IN MARCH 2010 (CAP. = CAPACITY)
AMERICAN EAGLE (ATR)LIAT (DASH 8)WINAIR (TWIN OTTER)COASTAL AIR (CESSNA 403)
CAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFTCAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFTCAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFTCAP.FLIGHTS INFLIGHTS OUTAIR LIFT
55000421414 1,176 19212179883348
TOTAL AVAILABLE SEATS WEEKLY2,022
INCREASE FROM 2008 TO DATE:WEEKLY140DAILY20

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