National airline only operating at 50 percent of its capacity

Bahamasair Chief Executive Officer Tracy Cooper is hopeful that the improved domestic routes that were seen during the Independence Day weekend will continue, as the airline struggles with running less than 50 percent of its traditional routes.

Cooper told Guardian Business yesterday that domestic routes for the Independence weekend were “a little better”.

He said part of the reason for the slump in loads is Bahamians’ continuing concern over the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Persons are not traveling overseas for good reason,” said Cooper.

However, Cooper said he is hopeful that the improved domestic routes seen last weekend will continue, as Bahamians opt not to travel to the United Sates, given the country’s increasing COVID-19 cases.

Cooper said this time last year, Bahamasair was running about five flights daily to popular markets in Florida. Now, he said, there is one flight per day to each and its Turks and Caicos, Haiti and Cuba routes are inoperable.

“International U.S. flights are all kind of truncated,” said Cooper. “The airline is still only operating at 50 percent of its capacity when compared year-over-year.”

According to Cooper, travelers have been compliant with the safety protocols onboard the airline, as they travel to and from The Bahamas.

“Persons don’t have a choice as far as wearing the protective mask and I think for all purposes, Bahamians are now sensitive and the world is sensitive to COVID-19 and the precautions that need to be taken,” he said.

He added that Bahamasair flight crews are all back to work, while some temporary staff have yet to be called in.

Cooper told the media last month that the company’s reduced schedule will continue to constrain its operational capital and predicted then that the airline would likely see a 20 percent reduction in its schedule compared to last year, as it continues to pay out millions in static costs, while not decreasing its staff.

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