[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

8720: 8713 : 8703 : 8698 Haitian Airlines (fwd)

From: Gilles Hudicourt <hudic@videotron.ca>

Statistics on passengers are available from the Autorité Aéroportuaire
d'Haïti (AAN) and are public.  Anybody can obtain them.  They publish an
annual statistics report that anybody can obtain.  The last one I saw which
is a few years ago (about 1998 or 1999 ) listed about 600,000 passengers per
year, a big leap from 1993 which had about 400,000.  The bulk is on the PAP
and MIA route, the second biggest is PAP-JFK.  All the others are way less.

Here is the main problem with starting an Airline with Haiti.  All single
aisle aircraft, those that are called "narrow bodies", such as B727, B737,
DC-9, MD-80, A-320, whether modern or old, are made to carry about 44 lbs of
baggage per passenger in their holds when the seats are full.  Haitians as
we all know carry about 150 lbs per person on average when they fly to Haiti
from overseas.  So regardless of the aircraft that is used, if one uses a
narrow-body aircraft everytime that airplane will be over 50% full, some of
the baggage will be left behind.  In the Holiday season when the aircraft
will be full evryday, this will happen everyday and most people will not
arrive in Haiti with their luggage.  In the old days when all airlines came
to Haiti with narrow-body aircraft (Pan-Am and AA with B-707, Air France
with B-737, ALM with MD-80s) these airlines often chartered cargo aircraft
to haul the excess baggage.  Air Haiti and Haiti Air Freight often did just
that for the passenger airlines.
The only aircraft capable of filling all seats and taking along 150 lbs of
baggage per passenger are Wide body aircraft, those with two aisles.  The
original Wide-Bodies which are the B-747, the DC-10 and the L-1011 were
considered long haul aircraft and were not used on short haul routes such as
PAP-MIA.  Eastern Airlines was the first to capitalize on the capability of
the first short haul wide-body when it put one of the first Airbus 300
delivered in North America on the MIA-PAP route.  The other airlines soon
copied Eastern and all put Wide body aircraft on the Haiti routes.  They all
learned the hard way that if you leave a Haitian's baggage behind, you loose
the customer.

If any airline wants to compete with American Airlines on Haitian routes it
MUST use a Wide-Body aircraft.  Of course these aircraft are harder to fill,
cost more to lease, to fuel, in landing and ATC fees, airport taxes,
immigration and customs fees etc. The smallest wide-bodies are the Airbus
310, and the B767, which carry between 200 and 270 passengers according to
the interior configuration.  But its the only way to go.  Of course we are
stuck on those northbound routes with those uge holds which are now empty.
An ideal place to fill up with mangoes and cheap cargo of the sort.  Doesn't
make much money but help cover the expenses.
Not a single Haitian Airline has ever used a wide-body aircraft but that is
only one of the many factors that explains why they failed, but in my
oppinion it is the major one.