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8703: Re: 8698: Durban on Air Travel to Haiti (fwd)

From: Pierre Jean <pierrejean01@yahoo.com>

Durban is right on the money with his comments
regarding airline service to Haiti.

Let me add a couple of points for those who are
THINKING about starting a new airline to Haiti:

1. Haiti is a Category II country according to ICAO.
(Cuba, by contrast, is a Category I country despite 40
years of embargo.) This means that Haiti's civil
aviation authorities have not put in place the minimum
standards necessary to ensure the safety of
passengers. In practice, this means that:

a) Haitian airlines cannot fly to the United States.
Notice that Air d'Ayiti, Haiti Trans Air et al all had
to have a service contract with an airline that is
allowed to fly to the US (Falcon Air, LanChile, etc.)
When was the last time you saw an airplane with Air
d'Ayiti colors landing in Miami?;

b) Haitian airlines looking to go to the US will go
through a painful review process by the US DOT to gain
what's called "economic authority". On top of that,
they have to get a Part 129 certificate from the FAA
which is not that easy to acquire. How Air d'Ayiti
made it through, I don't know given their atrocious
record and service.

So your best bet is to start up a company in the US
(good luck on that one!) or find a partner with
landing rights in the US, which will negatively impact
your revenues as a good part of your revenues will go
straight to that company.

2. Starting up an airline is serious business. You
need qualified managers, trained employees, and LOTS
OF CAPITAL ... in fact way more than you think. The
major problem of all these start-up airlines is that
they were way under-capitalized. Air d'Ayiti and the
now-defunct Haiti International Airlines are good case
studies. Have you ever wondered why these so-called
airlines do not or did not fly as promised? Simple.
They have zero credit due to their poor track record
of payments, so they have to pay their lease cash,
their landing fees cash, their fuel cash, etc. No one
will extend credit to them. If they do not sell enough
tickets or cannot raise funds from the investors, then
they cannot afford to lease an aircraft for that day
ergo they don't fly. What you get is hundreds of
passengers stranded, tempers flaring at the airport,
managers that cannot be found ... basically a big

On the subject of the Haitian civil aviation
authority, they should not have granted certificates
to Air d'Ayiti, Haiti International Airlines, etc. to
begin with because these are not real airlines.
However, I am sure that sheer incompetence and a
couple of well-padded envelopes did the trick. 
Consumers are simply not protected when they get on
these airlines. Have you ever wondered what type of
insurance coverage these airlines have? Maybe you
should ask the Haitian civil aviation authorities.

Conclusion: if you plan on starting up an airline,
make sure you have a lot of capital because it will be
an expensive proposition. Barriers to entry in this
business are high, and for good reason. 

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