British Airways commits to Caribbean flights despite rise in APD and fuel prices
British Airways has reasserted its commitment to providing routes for tourists taking Caribbean holidays despite the increase in fuel prices and Air Passenger Duty. The airline continues to offer regular flights to tropical destinations such as St Lucia, Antigua, Jamaica and Barbados throughout the forthcoming winter months.
This year has been a difficult year for airlines in the United Kingdom with the increased Air Passenger Duty and rise in fuel prices but British Airways has reassured customers that it is committed to providing regular services to its range of holiday destinations in the Caribbean.
The airline provides an array of routes for passengers planning Caribbean holidays and it will continue to offer regular flights to several countries in the region throughout the forthcoming winter and summer months.
Holidaymakers will be able to continue planning holidays in the Caribbean and flying with British Airways to idyllic islands including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Bermuda.
British Airways currently services regular scheduled Caribbean routes from London Gatwick with daily flights to St Lucia, Barbados and Antigua during the summer months so that tourists can escape the plummeting temperatures in the UK and head off to tropical landscapes comprising white sandy beaches, lush green parks and turquoise ocean waters, while staying at luxury all inclusive beachfront Caribbean hotels and resorts.
In March this year, George Osborne announced in the Budget that Air Passenger Duty (APD) would increase by eight per cent from April 2012. This, together with rising fuel prices, has affected the number of travellers heading to long haul destinations, particularly the Caribbean.
Image by: IDEE_PER_VIAGGIARE, on Flickr
APD is calculated according to how far away the capital of a country is from the United Kingdom. Though Florida and Hawaii are located further from the UK, the capital of the United States is New York which is closer than many Caribbean capital cities, so passengers taking flights to the Caribbean are charged more.
British Airways’ head of commercial at Gatwick Airport, Colm Lacy, explained: “The fuel cost on flying to the Caribbean is significant. It’s the main cost: almost 50 percent of the total. APD is big as well, given it has gone up 360 percent in the last six years. It is completely disproportionate. A family of four pays £324 to fly to the Caribbean [in economy], when flying to Miami it is £260. The Caribbean is unfairly penalised.”
In 2010, British Airways announced its new routes for holidays to the Caribbean during a conference in Barbados, as well as adding extra aircraft to its fleet in 2011.
“We’ve taken a little capacity out since then,” Lacy explained. “APD continues to go up. Fuel has gone up. Customers are paying more. Demand has fallen. So we are tweaking capacity, particularly in the summer. We’ve done our best to maintain as much as we can in winter.”
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