Saturday, December 7, 2019

Tourism Minister Urges More Common Sense, Less Politics On Virgin Atlantic Issue

Asserting that the planned pullout of Virgin Atlantic from Saint Lucia in June next year is an issue of national importance, Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee has called for more common sense and less politics in response to the situation.

Fedee told St Lucia Times that he’s very confused by the utterances from the opposition, including those from opposition leader Philip J. Pierre.

The Minister noted that Pierre had offered the government some advice.

“I don’t think we are here to accept policies that have failed Saint Lucia; we are here to take the country forward,” he explained.

According to the Tourism Minister, the Virgin matter is simple.

“The payout would have cost us 20 percent of our annual budget,” he said in regard to the subsidy requested by the carrier.

“To do so for seven percent of the business – the math does not work. It’s not a good business decision,” Fedee observed.

“We have found the decision very difficult to say ‘Yes’ because we have in the last 8 months received 8 additional weekly flights on the American market – seven new weekly flights from Miami and one new weekly flight starting December19, 2019 out of Chicago,” the Minister stated.

He noted that as a result it was very difficult to accept the investment terms put forward by Virgin Atlantic.

Fedee asserted that Virgin made a business decision, the same as Saint Lucia has done.

“I want to give you every assurance that this is in the best interest of Saint Lucia,” he told St Lucia Times.

Fedee disclosed that the demand in the UK market continues to be strong for the moment.

Nevertheless he revealed that Saint Lucia is concerned post Brexit because the business environment in the UK would be very hard for not just travel, but for a number of industries.

He expressed the view that the announcement that UK is going to leave the European Union ‘deal or no deal’ scenario is one that should concern all Caribbean destinations.

Fedee recalled that in the 1990’s when Philip J. Pierre was Tourism Minister, the then Labour government took a decision to not pay American Airlines $US 1.5 million and the carrier effectively pulled out.

“I think at that time Saint Lucia depended on American Airlines more than we do on Virgin now,” the Minister told St Lucia Times.

 

 

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. I must commend the government on this decision….we are selling a destination not the airline… People will still come to st Lucia they are not the only airline….Pierre and company stop the politics this is a good decision….

    • Were we or you privy to all aspects of negotiations?!

      So how can someone conclude a decision being a good one!

  2. I heard Allen saying something along those lines i.e. Business decision.

    But the irony in that statement is Allen isn’t a business man and has never been a businessman.

    A sentiment echoed by is own father a business man.

Comments are closed.

TRENDING

PM Announces ‘Great News’ For Job Seekers In The South

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has announced what he describes as more great news for job seekers in the South of Saint Lucia. In a post...

Saint Lucia Ruling Party Wants Hilaire Questioned Over Dominica Riots

Saint Lucia's ruling United Workers Party (UWP) is urging authorities here and in Dominica to question Castries South MP, Ernest Hilaire, in relation to...

Teenager Charged With Murder Of Saint Lucian In Canada

A 17-year-old has been charged in the shooting death of 46-year-old  Saint Lucian, Alexis Charles, outside a party in North York last summer, local...

Teargas and Tension Hours Before Dominica Polls Open

ROSEAU – Dominicans go to the polls on Friday to elect a new government with the leaders of the two main political parties expressing...