By Andrew Gibson
British Airways has introduced new services to Antigua and Barbuda while they have been cutting some of their other services to the Caribbean. They blame the expensive air passenger duty for the reason that they have made these cut backs and this is the only place which has gained more flights, in the new flight schedule. They will be increasing their weekly flights from London to Antigua from six to seven flights, from the 25th march.
British Airways had long talks with the Ministry of Tourism and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. John Maginley, the Minister of Tourism explained that they now have a daily service all year round, which is the first time they have had this service. He said that it showed that British Airways had confidence in the destination and realise that there is big potential for the UK. The chief of British Airways, Keith Williams has spoken in the past about how air passenger duty is harming the Caribbean destinations and that is why they have been reducing their service in the summer.
They feel that passengers will just not be tempted to go there when they can visit other destinations for significantly less money. They felt it would be too harmful to their profits, to continue offering the same services that they were in the past. Although all flights have gone up because of fuel increases, and taxation to the Caribbean is proportionally higher than other similar destinations, then it is felt that passengers will just not be prepared to pay the extra.