Landing fees may be cut

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Government has been in talks with 15 airlines in Europe and the United States since May and Bermuda is likely to attract new carriers within the next two years, airport general manager James Howes revealed yesterday.

Speaking after a forum at the National Tourism Conference, Mr. Howes told The Royal Gazette that Bermuda almost landed a new carrier on a new route from the United States but it collapsed due to the current crisis in the airline industry.

  • A Delta flight lands at the Bermuda International Airport.

    A Delta flight lands at the Bermuda International Airport.


Government has been in talks with 15 airlines in Europe and the United States since May and Bermuda is likely to attract new carriers within the next two years, airport general manager James Howes revealed yesterday.

Speaking after a forum at the National Tourism Conference, Mr. Howes told The Royal Gazette that Bermuda almost landed a new carrier on a new route from the United States but it collapsed due to the current crisis in the airline industry.

And he disclosed that the airport will announce soon it is restructuring its landing charges - thought to be a cut in fees - to make it more competitive to the airlines.

“We (the airport and Ministry of Transport) have spoken to over 15 airlines since May and I feel confident that in the next one to two years we will get additional airline service,” he said.

“We were this close to getting a new flight and destination announced later this year but because of the financial woes in the airline industry, they decided to pull out.”

Referring to landing fees, Mr Howes said: “We are restructuring and an announcement will be made soon.

“I can't be specific, but we have worked closely with the airlines and they welcome the revision. You can draw your own conclusions from that.”

A Bermuda registered airline, Bermuda Star Ltd. applied earlier this year to fly to Manchester, England, Frankfurt, Germany, Chicago, Newark, New York, and Orlando, Florida. No decision has been made yet.

Mr. Howes told a seminar at the National Tourism Conference at the Fairmont Southampton yesterday that he was confident airline traffic to Bermuda will improve, despite the current worldwide slump in the industry after the September 11 attacks. He pointed out that while one in five flights in the US had been cut, Bermuda has not lost any routes.

“These air carriers tell us that generally speaking they are happy with the way flights to Bermuda are going. The load factors are good, the yields are good, and they are making money to Bermuda, which is why we've not seen any airline cuts. Other destinations have suffered big cutbacks, but we've not seen any cuts.

“I am confident that in the long-term, we will see a turnaround and we expect to see an increase in airline business and we'll see that here in Bermuda in the next few years.”

Mr. Howes said good people were the key to the success of the airport, which earlier this year was voted the friendliest in the world, and fourth best in the world after Dubai, Singapore, and Copenhagen.

More from the National Tourism Conference, including Premier Jennifer Smith's comments: Page 6

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