Cat Island Air removed from airport
Outstanding fees owed to the Nassau Airport Development Company(NAD)may be the possible reason leading to Cat Island Air’s eviction from the Lynden Pindling International Airport(LPIA)–several sources have revealed toGuardian Business–with the future of the airline’s operation uncertain.
“I’m really not familiar with the issue[but]I know that there were some NAD fees that were outstanding,”Director of Operations at Western Air Wolf Seyfert said yesterday toGuardian Business.”Most of the carriers–I think ourselves, SkyBahamas and maybe Bahamasair–are up to date on the fees.”
While Seyfert said he isn’t fully familiarized with the situation, a second source confirmed that outstanding debt to NAD was the primary reason behind Cat Island Air’s removal from LPIA.
Speaking toGuardian Businessunder the condition of anonymity, the source revealed that the airline was evicted from the airport since last Thursday, and arrangements were not fulfilled to pay pre-existing fees with NAD, triggering the eviction.
“The bottom line is they owed money to NAD and when it was time to deal with the fees, they couldn’t pay them,”said the source.
Cat Island Air was founded in 1987 and offers flights to five different Family Islands including the Berry Islands, Abaco, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Cat Island. Representatives from the airline could not be reached up to press time.
Seyfert mentioned that Cat Island Air may not be the only airline that reportedly has outstanding fees.
“Most of the smaller carriers are behind in the fee schedule,”he said.”I’m not sure what transpired[with Cat Island Air]whether it was caused by NAD or other factors.”
Increased rates at LPIA, which came into effect at the start of the year, have already forced some airlines to hold off future expansion plans and modify their budgets. CEO of Pineapple Air Kenneth Carey already had to adjust his operations, reducing staff hours in an effort to cut costs and stay on top of airport fees. President of SkyBahamas Randy Butler had to suspend his integration strategy into the U.S. market because of the financial commitments to NAD.
Officials from NAD didn’t provide any specific comment on the state of Cat Island Air, but did reveal that they are in discussions with the air carrier.
In a statement sent toGuardian Businessfrom NAD, it said:”Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on Cat Island Air’s current status at LPIA due to the fact that we are presently under negotiations with the airline.”