Air Caraïbes will suspend its Paris Orly to St. Maarten service as of December 13.
MARIGOT–Air Caraïbes has announced it will suspend its direct transatlantic service from Orly Paris to St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport as of December 13, 2022, until further notice citing rising fuel cost and other expenses.
The airline’s Director-General Eric Michel confirmed the decision in an interview with Guadeloupe Premier television on Saturday. The airline’s main hub is located in Guadeloupe.
“It is with reluctance that the company has decided to suspend the connections between Paris Orly and St. Maarten Princess Juliana from December 13, 2022, for an indefinite period,” said Michel. “This decision was taken for strictly economic reasons. The price of oil has almost doubled. On top of that, there is the exchange rate of the dollar. In our industry, all expenses are denominated in dollars: fuel purchases, maintenance, aircraft purchases, etc. With the decline of the euro, our expenses are more expensive.”
Michel explained the company would have to increase the price of each ticket by 150 euros to break even without making a profit. “If we do that our clients will not follow us,” he reasoned.
He emphasised being unable to compete with Air France/KLM, a company that has received 12 billion euros in aid from the French and Dutch Governments whereas Air Caraïbes is a private company with a single shareholder.
“The Orly-St. Maarten route is the first victim of global inflation. It was more or less in balance, but by equalisation we decided to reduce the size,” he added.
The Paris-Cuba route has also been suspended. Despite these developments Michel said the decisions are temporary and he has not ruled out reopening the routes if conditions allow.
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