New BWIA chief plots turnaround

London
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This story is sourced from Flight International
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BWIA West Indies Airways is expecting to post net losses of $25-30 million for the full year 2005, but newly appointed chief executive Peter Davies believes he can turn the airline around to reach break-even in 2008.

Davies has submitted a new recovery plan to the airline’s board, which has been approved. BWIA has not been profitable since 2000 and, before that, its only other profitable year was 1999.

The airline had been intending to change its name to BWIA Caribbean Airways this month, but Davies has already overruled that decision “because it is too costly and I believe that BWIA already has a strong brand name”.

BWIA has not yet received the $250 million cash injection promised to it by Trinidad & Tobago’s government last October because payment depends on reaching renegotiated collective bargaining agreements with the carrier’s unions. Davies hopes to complete this process by the end of April.

Some small fleet changes may result from the government’s $250 million capital injection, although no significant fleet alterations will be possible unless the airline is privatised. The eventual operation of a homogenous fleet appeals to Davies, but this “depends on the deals that are available from Airbus and Boeing”.

KERRY EZARD / LONDON