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Bahamasair commissions new Boeing 737-500
Mar 30, 2012 - 1:00:39 PM

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Nassau, The Bahamas – Public Works and Transport Minister the Hon. Neko C. Grant officially commissioned Bahamasair’s refurbished Boeing 737-500 as part of the airline’s fleet of jet aircraft during a special ceremony Wednesday, March 28.
In his remarks Minister Grant said while the airline continues to offer service in a competitive environment, the Bahamas Government along with the airline’s board of directors are focusing on the “capacity” and “composition” of the aircraft fleet with a view to upgrading equipment and achieving greater fuel efficiency.

Mr. Grant said a comprehensive review of Bahamasair’s fleet was undertaken in 2009 in collaboration with aviation consultants Morton Beyer and Agnew. A market/product analysis was also undertaken of next-generation equipment manufactured by Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer.

“Based on the findings of the aforementioned exercises, and based on the existing financial constraints; it was decided that priority should be given (in the first instance) to the phased replacement of the Boeing 737-200 jet aircraft inventory with more modern Boeing 737-500 models,” said Mr. Grant.

“Today, we are accepting delivery of this refurbished Boeing 737-500 jet subsequent to completion of a rigorous technical assessment and valuation process. This process was advanced with the advice of aviation consultants Morton Beyer and Agnew along with Lufthansa Technik. We are therefore satisfied that we have made an informed decision relative to this investment.”

Mr. Grant noted that during the 2010/2011 fiscal year, since the onset of the global economic downturn, the airline’s commercial indicators have reflected positive results over the previous year for the first time.

“In this regard, Bahamasair’s net revenue increased by 11.1 percent (from $59.5 million in 2010 to $66.3 million in 201, which is commendable.) However, the airline continues to experience financial challenges, attributable in part to increased fuel costs,” said Mr. Grant. “Aircraft fuel expenditure escalated to $19 million in 2011 compared to $14.3 million in 2010. Total expenses for the airline were $87.6 million in 2011 as compared to $85.1 million in 2010. Therefore, had it not been for the increase in the cost of fuel, our losses would have been much less.

“While the incurred net loss of $21.5 million in 2011 is less than the net loss of $23.2 million in 2010; Bahamasair’s accumulated deficit now stands at $489,053,852 in 2011 as compared to the restated 2010 accumulated deficit total of $467,530,954. Despite these circumstances, it is evident that phenomenal efforts have been made to improve Bahamasair’s financial position along with its quality of service,” said Mr. Grant.

He expressed gratitude to J. Barrie Farrington, chairman of Bahamasair’s board of directors and members of the board for the invaluable service provided to directing the airline on a path to enhanced customer service and fiscal prudence. He also thanked Henry Woods managing director and the executive management team along with other staff for their contributions to the airline’s operations.

“It is my hope that Bahamasair will realise additional gains in the years ahead,” he said.

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