AIR TRANSPORT: MP Frantz Gumbs announces good news ahead | FAXINFO

On the sensitive subject of ticket prices in regional and transatlantic air travel, MP Frantz Gumbs spoke in detail this Monday, April 8, confirming his optimism and confidence for the future.

For several months, the MP for the SBH and SXM constituency has claimed to be following the issue closely. Faced with exorbitant air transport prices, Frantz Gumbs requested and obtained interviews with the managers of the Air France and Air Caraibes companies: “I explained to my interlocutors the point of view of the passengers who reside on our islands. The suspension, in December 2022, of connections between Paris Orly and St Maarten Princess Juliana placed Air France in a monopoly situation.” In 2023, prices have exploded on the transatlantic but also the regional following the judicial liquidation of the Caire group leaving Air Caraibes alone on board. The MP therefore sought to find out if either company had in perspective a price evolution more favorable to our residents: “Each of the interviews took place in a cordial and serious manner. Each of the companies was keen to explain the reasons for the increase in costs.” The explanations are as follows: firstly, the health crisis of 2020 had a very negative impact on their cash flow, this is one of the reasons for the suspension of Air Caraibes flights to the Dutch side. Dsecondly, the context of the international crisis, and therefore the economic situation, has made supply chains more complex, resulting in an increase in fuel prices. And finally, the departure of one of the companies resulted in a low supply of seats compared to demand, which increased prices. “Air France has larger capacity planes, which it cannot use due to the shortness of the runway at Princess Juliana airport. Likewise on the regional plane, Air Caraibes cannot fill its ATR 72 given the landing strip at Grand-Case is too short. What to do then? » asks Frantz Gumbs. And to continue: “First, to meet demand, particularly that which is stronger depending on the season, Air France will operate two daily flights to Paris and a third to Amsterdam, next winter, which is non-negotiable. , particularly for people coming from the French provinces. On the other hand, solid relations are maintained with LADOM (Overseas Agency for Mobility editor's note), which for its part has changed the eligibility conditions for students but also those of its "general public" system. "Aid for Territorial Continuity (ACT)". At the same time, two studies are underway, one on the cost of fuel because the obligation to refuel in Saint-Martin impacts the price of tickets, and the second concerns the constraint linked to the size of the track which imposes the use of aircraft of a lower capacity than those for the Pointe-à-Pitre and Fort-de-France lines. Regarding Air Caraibes, the MP indicates that the company is keen to establish itself in the Caribbean zone by wanting to offer the best to the populations: “Recently, demand has been greater than supply, the company faced difficulties. However, I am very optimistic and confident about the company's next announcements, whether regional or even transatlantic. This is also, incidentally, my feeling for Air Antilles.” _VX


St Barth Executive launches its first regular SBH – PTP lines

Frantz Gumbs is delighted with the inauguration of the first regular lines of the St Barth Executive airline based at Rémy de Haenen airport linking Saint-Barthélemy to Guadeloupe: “  I welcome the mobilization of the St Barth Executive company, which will open the Saint-Barthélemy/Pointe-à-Pitre line, from April 15, initially with one daily round trip.” From mid-June, St Barth Executive will reinforce these flights with a brand new shuttle service called Air Inter Iles, with a dedicated fleet made up of 3 completely new, latest generation TECNAM P2012 STOL aircraft, which can accommodate up to 9 passengers. . The company does not stop there, for the St-Barth/San Juan (Puerto Rico) connection, flights will begin on May 16, 2024, with two daily rotations operated in Pilatus PC12-NGX on flights that can accommodate up to 6 passengers. St Barth Executive will present its upcoming development program to the press this Thursday, April 11. Details in a future edition.

Source: Faxinfo