, 1er journal des professionnels du tourisme francophone

Air Caribbean stays optimistic for 2014 and expects to end the year in growth

Despite the price war, Air Caribbean remains confident for 2014 and expects to end the year in growth. It particularly hopes to take advantage of renewed urbanites' interest for the French Antilles and hopes to capitalize even more on the Dominican Republic.

Rédigé par Laury-Anne CHOLEZ translated by Joséphine Foucher le Mercredi 30 Avril 2014

Air Caribbean must find new sources of growth to schedule its future A350 aircrafts, ordered a few months ago and who should start being delivered in 2016 - Copyright 2013 AIRBUS SAS
Air Caribbean must find new sources of growth to schedule its future A350 aircrafts, ordered a few months ago and who should start being delivered in 2016 - Copyright 2013 AIRBUS SAS
The price war in the French Antilles does not seem to tarnish the optimism of Edmond Richard, the European Sales Manager of Air Caribbean.

Indeed, he is convinced that his company will keep growing and will continue to deliver as great of results as last year.

In 2013, Air Caribbean had achieved a turnover of €353 million, an increase of 5% compared to 2012.

Passenger traffic was up 2% with 1,224,000 more passengers. But the long haul flight was particularly effective with a growth of 12%.

Despite the arrival of XL Airways, it won 1.5 points of market share (29%) and is keeping its momentum by surpassing the 30% in the first quarter of 2014.

These fill rates are close to the top: with 86% for Cayenne, 90% on the French Antilles and 75% on Saint Martin, a destination harder to sell.

The code-share between Corsair and Air Caribbean has attracted 70,000 customers

The only downside of this scenario is that unit earnings continue to suffer due to a strong price pressure. A situation that seems to repeat itself in the first quarter of 2014, mainly due to an increase in offers by 5 to 6% in January and February.

During this period, it transported 25 000 passengers (+12 %) with an offer growth of 10%.

But Edmond Richard also remains confident for the second semester because XL Airways and Air France should lower their stocks.

Corsair is expected to redeploy it 747, which should benefit from the code-share agreement.

A partnership that has attracted 70,000 passengers, mainly in economy class. It has also been extended to other lines: Reunion, Guyana, and Saint Martin.

"This code-share is a success and we sell more also more passengers on Corsair than Corsair does with us" believes Richard Edmond.

Very promising destinations

In the end, the price war in the West Indies was not all bad. "This helped revive competition in Guadeloupe and Martinique, particularly against the Dominican Republic, where some players reduced prices to liquidate their stocks," says Richard Edmond.

Both tourist offices are particularly active in giving new visibility to the two French islands, which also benefited from a mass desertion of Egypt and a rather troubled general context.

Finally, let’s not forget the performance of cruising lines, with which Air Caribbean has firm commitments.

As for Guyana, the company is satisfied and met for the first time a positive operating result. Its arrival in 2008 has truly filled a lack of availability and increased traffic by 25% with these figures stabilizing today.

Air Caribbean appeals to both a passionate customer base and business travelers working in the oil and aerospace sector.

"We recorded great corporate success with some actors of the Aerospace space looking to reduce their costs" explains Edmond Richard. The company also just signed an agreement with Cathay Pacific to transport Asian travelers.

However, its activity on Saint-Martin remains more difficult, mainly due to a lack of communication from the local Tourism Office. A flight has been taken off leading to only two weekly flights.

Finally, in Port-au-Prince and Santo Domingo, Air Caribbean has finally found a balanced model to meet demand.

Because by landing in the capital of the Dominican Republic and not in the resort area of Punta Cana, it differs from the offers of other charters and allows Tour Operators an easier access to the north and the little-known regions of Las Terrenas or Samana.

"The Dominican Republic is a destination for the future where we will continue to develop it" promises Edmond Richard .

Indeed, Air Caribbean must find new sources of growth to schedule its future A350 aircrafts, ordered a few months ago and that should start being delivered in 2016.

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