Will St Lucia suffer?

By | Category: Travel destinations

Whatever you might think, destinations around the world contribute to the running costs of some of the flights that go into their airports. It could be dressed up as promotional support to publicise the route, it could be completing buildings or altering existing airport infrastructure, it could assistance in starting up a route or any in other way.

St Lucia

Not all destinations support airline routes in this way and many frown on direct support. In some cases such as support by government to maintain a service in Scotland out to the islands it is considered as desirable so “public service obligations” is the phrase used to support routes such as flights from Glasgow to Barra and Tiree..

Sometimes subsidies seem quite blatant such as the story surrounding Virgin Atlantic’s decision to pull out of its service from Gatwick to St Lucia after 21 years of service.

After such a length of time you would imagine that the airline had a very comprehensive profile of the sort of people that would fly there, how often and those that were lovers of the island and would return time-and-time again. It would know the tour operators and whether they were expanding their holidays on St Lucia or cutting back and would be a good barometer of British holidaymaker’s intentions towards the island.

According to a report in the St Lucia Times, Virgin Atlantic wanted $2.5 million from the St Lucian government to continue flying the route. The government said no, believing that other airlines flying into the island would also want money.

The direct Virgin Atlantic service will cease next June. But British Airways service the same route and TUI and Thomas Cook Airlines provided seasonal services over the busy winter period. All that might happen is that either British Airways might increase the number of flights to take up demand or some other airline will step in.

Will St Lucia suffer from Virgin Atlantic’s departure? Probably not.

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