Bahamasair chairman says COVID-19 testing requirements may keep demand for domestic flights low

Bahamasair chairman says COVID-19 testing requirements may keep demand for domestic flights low
Bahamasair Chairman Tommy Turnquest (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Bahamasair Chairman Tommy Turnquest said yesterday that he is confident the airline is prepared to resume its domestic flight schedule today.

“I’ve been told that we are ready to go,” Turnquest told Eyewitness News.

“We’re only flying the ATRs because we are only going to the Family Islands.”

Turnquest advised that the airline currently has five ATR aircraft  – four of which are currently operational – waiting to be utilized for flights.

He said the fifth aircraft had an engine out for quite some time, prior to the pandemic, and they would have recently received it back to get it ready for servicing passengers.

He said that the aircraft is expected to be ready by today, or shortly thereafter.

“We’ve spent a considerable amount of time being ready for a time such as this,” Turnquest continued.

“…We think that the demand is going to be very soft because you have to have a COVID-19 test leaving out of Nassau.

“So other than bringing people from the Family Islands, we don’t think that there is going to be many people going to hang out in the Family Islands to quarantine for 14-days.”

He noted however that he is confident that the airline is prepared to resume services.

On Monday, the airline announced the resumption of domestic services and advised that flights are presently available for purchase.

All passengers leaving Nassau are reminded that they must be in possession of a negative PCR COVID-19 test – taken within 5 days of their travel date – and must self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival to their destination.

The resumption of services comes just over six weeks after the prime minister announced the discontinuation of inter-island travel, among other restrictive measures as the country began seeing an exponential surge in coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has announced a range of eased restrictions to the latest emergency orders, including the removal of the need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test when traveling from Grand Bahama.

8 comments

So that means that the airline will be operating an even greater loss. Therefore putting more of a strain on the public purse.

This don’t make sense,why do I have to take a negative covid 19 test to travel to freeport and then when i reach there i still have to quarantine for 14 days,someone please tell me why?

These decisions this Govt making really dont make sense. They are continuing to be mischevious with the Bahamian travelor. Yeah you can go to the Family Island but 250.00 Covid Test and remember to Quarantine for 14 days…its just ridiculous

How about single mothers like me who haven’t work from March have to pay for this test which is over $100 and still have to purchase tickets to go home am a mother of 8kids 7 bilogical and 1 adopted i been lockdown away from my kids now going on 3 month because i cant afford the test my 2 youngest is 4 and 2years old.Why is it that if i go to the clinic stating i have symptoms they will test me for free but because i wanna go bk home to my kids i have to pay thats not right man .Right now am hurt and my family is hurting.what can i do.

I just want to go home .i came in Nassau because my 4 year old was diagnosed with epilepsy i needed to bring to Nassau yo take the test at princess Margaret Hospital on her Brain .At the time Doctor wasn’t there to read the test theycask me to come back first week in July i was on lockdown from then and now i have to pay for covid test and ticket just to be reunited with my children wow.Its Better in the Bahamas

This does not make any sense, the poor will continue to stay poor.
Where people going to find $250 for a covid test, when one cannot find food.

Why are we being told to pay for this this is a National Health problem and Bahamians should be covered for such crisis. People have a heart look at the stste of the middle to low class (if we have them anymore) people. Comon on now.

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