Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Virgin Atlantic To Halt Flights To Saint Lucia In Subsidy Stalemate

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Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will be ceasing operations between Saint Lucia and London Gatwick for the ‘foreseeable future.’

The airline says flights will continue until June 8, 2020.

It said that Virgin Holidays will continue to serve hotels in Saint Lucia after that date through connecting flights via partner airlines.

“Customer bookings for Virgin Atlantic flights  departing up until June 7, 2020 will not be impacted,” according to a letter send to tourism industry partners here.

Virgin said the decision to withdraw from Saint Lucia was not taken lightly.

However sources close to the tourism industry told St Lucia Times that Virgin Atlantic’s  decision to scrap the Saint Lucia route was linked to a stalemate over the payment of subsidies to the airline.

According to the sources, Virgin Atlantic was ‘demanding’ a $2.5 million injection to maintain the flight, which the Saint Lucia government refused to pay.

They said it was felt that subsidising the airline would open the floodgates for other carriers to request similar treatment.

 

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19 COMMENTS

  1. I hear a different story. That the reason for halting the flights is due to St. Lucia supporting a DOLPHIN PARK.

    Virgin recently halted tours to Disney World in the U.S. because they have whale and dolphins in their shows.

    It’s time to be civilized..

    • It is as a consequence of that poor business decision where they stand to lose revenue they have decided to pressure the government, St Lucia after Barbados is the best market for Virgin Atlantic in the Caribbean, 5 flights weekly in the winter and 3 weekly in the summer, this is just a case of them trying to play the strong hand, on the the other hand British Airways has daily flights into St Lucia and have been serving this destination for more than 50 years, Virgin began flights to St Lucia on 28th September 1998.
      I can very well see British Airways increasing their flights to 2 on certain days and TUI or Thomas cook increasing flights to St Lucia, who lose????

  2. Bravo, why hide and believe that they can fool people all the time, when we know exactly what’s going on with the Dolphin project. Lies, lies and deceit, time and time again. It begs the question;Does the United Workers Party People has a problem in speaking the truth. Just wondering.

    • Dont be foolish if it was because of the dolphin they would say so, Alan made a business move dont know if it was right or wrong but thats what it is.

    • We keep dogs in our yards tied, we traps cats in houses to chase rats yet dolphins can’t be in a park in their same sea environment. Same rich people who have all kinds of exotic pets you know playing hypocrisy. Like those fighting to save crocodiles yet buying the expensive shoes from its skin. Those fighting against killing some species yet purchasing all the expensive things made from its skin, teeth, fur etc.

  3. Correction, that should read Sea World not Disney World. You can read the article on the internet, The Telegraph newspaper

  4. Eh eh !! Since when they refuse to pay ?? When Chastanet was Tourism Minister he use to pay 5 times more than that for American Airlines to come down. Is when Pierre took over the position from Chastanet he told AA the country would not bow to loan sharks and they cut their flights. So there is more to it.

  5. The question here is how genuine a business decision virgin has made here or is this a typical business strategic move to force government hand to pay a subsidy.
    There are definitely other players that will pick up the slack if virgin carry out its threat.
    Remember Butch Stewart tried that same move with Antigua. These businesses will do anything to force government hand. If Virgin was making a lost on this route it would not keep increasing the number of flights during winter.
    They have now lost me a regular for trying this tactical move. British airways here I come.

  6. They want to pressure our small island to subsidize while they putting all their money into their latest initiative of sending a flight into space for 90 minute flight at a cost of $250,000. So spend less on us to have more to spend on bigger adventures. I say if the story is true then our government is right … don’t pay ! Go to space instead Virgin.

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