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Cancelled Flights Is ‘Unacceptable’

By October 11, 2022October 14th, 2022No Comments

This article originally appeared in Bernews October 11th 2022 

“Having cancelled airline flights to gateway cities from November to April/May is unacceptable,” Shadow Transport Minister Susan Jackson.

Ms. Jackson said, “Sold out seats on the few remaining flights will cause concern for students returning home for the holidays. Medical patients need direct flights to Boston area hospitals. These are priorities for government to take immediate action to increase airlift to gateway cities.

“Boston and New York are the biggest markets for business travel with professionals connecting through these gateway cities to Bermuda to conduct business. Prices for the few flights that are available are reaching close to $1,000 in some cases.

“There is a travel market of approximately 60,000 people on the island. Bermuda is affectionately referred to as the most travelled country per capita and the local traveling market is large enough for government officials to advocate for airlift based on this.

“Last year, the Transport Minister cited ‘low demand’ for the route cancellations following the pandemic, but this reasoning no longer applies as the world has opened up. The Transport and Tourism ministries and their partners have had ample time to negotiate direct services to these gateway cities.

“The government ministries should be condemned for not negotiating flights for local travel, and if necessary, financially supporting flights during these shoulder months. Government’s solution to fly through the Charlotte hub and make connecting flights to New York and Boston is ridiculous.

“We cannot expect students, seniors and medically vulnerable to make such a journey. So, we ask, what has been done in order to establish year-round direct air service to Boston?

“The One Bermuda Alliance continues to call for government to give the Bermuda Tourism Authority and its stakeholders, including the Bermuda Aviation Authority, the autonomy to work more closely with airline partners and negotiate direct flights for the local resident population, professionals and visitors ready to travel during the off-peak season.

“As cited almost a year ago by Opposition Leader, Cole Simons: ‘The PLP government had planted a seed for a ghost island this coming winter.’

“It looks like his words may ring true for yet another year.”