NASSAU, BAHAMAS — With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting international and domestic travel, Bahamian aviation industry operators are trying to navigate the way forward, having had to initiate a “massive” scaleback of their operations.
Anthony K Hamilton, president of the Bahamas Association of Air Transport Operators, told Eyewitness News: “At the onset, I was estimating an 18-month experience. We were trying to peg it because we needed to plan.
“We are right in trying to evaluate the situation and navigate through this process. There were a lot of expenses incurred because we had some standard costs and revenue wasn’t coming. With whatever revenue we generate now, we’re trying to catch up.”
Hamilton added: “There has been a gradual improvement as far as the sector is concerned because ultimately it is about the traveling public and concerns about safety. We’re working through it and we’re hoping things will turn around because to be in this business is a very costly exercise.
“The economics of it is tricky with such small margins. Most of the operators have scaled back on the delivery of service as volumes have been challenged with the existing COVID environment.
“Schedules have been reduced and some staff are still furloughed. It’s been a massive scaleback.
“We’re hoping things turn around soon. We believe we have a contribution to make and we are making the sacrifices so the nation can be rebound. Due to our archipelagic make-up, airlift is crucial.”