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Private Jet Sector is Poised for Post-Corona Caribbean Surge With both Virgin and BA struggling to survive, Gatwick Airport’s Caribbean flight schedule in doubt.

Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 5 May 2020 | 0 Comments

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5 May 2020

The extraordinary news that British Airways has warned staff that its Gatwick airport operation may not reopen after the

coronavirus pandemic passes, as reported by BBC News on April 30th, has cast another spotlight on Caribbean flights. 

BA's Gatwick operation, which is currently suspended, is roughly a fifth as big as its Heathrow hub.

The struggles of Virgin Airlines, as part of Richard Branson’s ailing Virgin empire, have been well-documented,

with the gloss and lustre of the maiden flight of the media darling’s newly-formed airline in June 1984 a distant memory

in light of his urgent call for a cash injection from taxpayers to the British government last month.  To survive, airlines need to be efficient,

flexible and cost-competitive in an increasingly lean and unpredictable industryand BA has alreadysaid it will cut up to 12,000 jobs from its 42,000-strong

workforce because of the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown. Both Virgin and BA dominate the flight board at Gatwick with BA operating for decades,

before its 1974 merger with BOAC.Plane-makers and airlines alike have been struggling to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their businesses - 

aerospace giantAirbushas warned the company was "bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed”. US aircraft manufacturer Boeing announced that it would cut

10% of its workforce after it said the lockdown had delivered a "body blow" to the business. In an interview with Business Inside magazine, aviation consultancy

CAPA warned that many of the world's airlines could be bankrupt by May because of the pandemic. According to the International Air Transport Association (ITA),

airlines globally will lose at least $314 billion due to the outbreak. As the UK’s second-busiest airport, Gatwick serves 46-million passengers a year and is the departure

point for most flights that serve the Caribbean.  Reports suggest that private jets will likely experience a surge in enquiries once international air travel resumes and

passengers, especially those that divide their time between the UK and the Caribbean islands, seek to find alternative ways to escape to palm-trimmed beaches.

Base rates are around $8,600 to $13,000 per flying hour for an international flight - small change for owners of multi-million-dollar holiday homes.