Western Air

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This article is about the Bahamas-based airline. For the defunct California-based airline that operated between 1925 and 1987, see Western Airlines. For the defunct Washington state-based airline that operated in 2007, see Western (airline).
Western Air
Western air logo
IATA
WT
ICAO
WST
Callsign
WESTERN
Founded 2001
Commenced operations 2001
Operating bases San Andros Airport, Andros Island
Hubs Grand Bahama International Airport, Lynden Pindling International Airport
Subsidiaries Vision Air Ltd.
Fleet size 15
Destinations 9
Company slogan We'll Take You There
Headquarters San Andros Airport
Key people
  • Rex Rolle (President & CEO)
  • Shandrice Rolle (Vice-President, COO)
Net income $80 Million
Profit $70 Million
Employees 400
Website WesternAirBahamas.com

Western Air Limited is the largest privately owned airline in the Bahamas. Western Air[1] has its headquarters on the grounds of San Andros Airport in Andros Island, Bahamas.[2] The airline was established in 2001 by husband-and-wife team, Rex J. Rolle and Shandrice Woodside- Rolle.[3] Currently, Mr. and Mrs. Rolle serve as president & CEO and COO respectively. Their daughter Rexy Rolle serves as vice president of operations. and Western Air now operates from their new[4] second hub at Grand Bahama International Airport. Which will serve as its main northern hub. opening new direct routes to direct flights to Haiti, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, and eventually Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida. The new $4 million state-of-the-art Western Air terminal[5] will be housing Western Air’s terminal, corporate office and maintenance facility. Western said that their fleet will increase more rapidly due to the rising demand in airlift.

Destinations[edit]

Western Air offers daily flights between Nassau and San Andros, Congo Town, Bimini, Abaco and Freeport on Grand Bahama. It also operates corporate and touristic charters throughout The Bahamas, the Caribbean, (including Haiti and Cuba), as well as South America.

Western takes Air Jamaica route[edit]

Western Air has also taken over Air Jamaica routes to Nassau The carrier said it has been granted a charter licence by the Jamaican Government and the Jamaican Civil Aviation Authority to operate daily flights from Kingston and Montego Bay to Nassau. In addition, it said that it was granted a schedule and charter licence by the Bahamian Government and its civil aviation agency to operate flights from the Bahamas to Jamaica.[6] It will fly between Kingston and Nassau from Sundays to Fridays and between Montego Bay and Nassau twice weekly, on Fridays and Sundays.

"Flying direct[7] from Jamaica to Bahamas eliminates the need to travel through the United States and requiring a United States visa," the airline noted, adding that this is expected to be welcomed by travellers who would otherwise have no direct flights to and from Jamaica when Air Jamaica discontinues service to that country.

Inaugural flights[edit]

Flights to Cuba from The Bahamas start (October 8, 2013)[edit]

This evening will mark the inaugural Western Air flight from the Bahamas to Cuba, building what officials hope will be a “bridge” between the two countries to better facilitate trade and commerce. The aircraft can seat 33 passengers and is expected to carry out one complete route, once a day, three times a week – courtesy of a partnership between Western Air and Blue Bahamas Crossing (BCB). Captain Wolf Seyfret, Western Air’s director of operations, said a demand for such a route does exist based on statistics from other airlines and past services that Western Air has done. "Our average load has been 22 passengers. We’ve had full flights, we’ve had flights with 19 passengers – but the average load has been 22 passengers. So yes, from that I can say there definitely is a demand there." he said.

Saab 340A, Western Air AN1762143.jpg

He explained that Western Air and BCB have "very diligently looked at the market" and decided the two carriers that presently provide the service are “not able to satisfy demand” – leaving room in the market for Western Air to step in. "We can say from observing the current levels with Cubana and Bahamasair – there’s a lot of passengers being turned away because of the load factors on both airlines so definitely there is a demand for that service." he said. Mr Seyfret added that the privately owned Western Air “can definitely be more flexible” than the two government-owned airlines. Zena Burland, BCB chairwoman, explained that the creation of this new service is mainly geared towards encouraging business opportunities and trade relations between the Bahamas and Cuba. She noted that transportation remains "one of the major barriers" that prevents the Bahamas’ movement for commerce, trade, and wider networking in the region. "Blue Crossing Bahamas saw this barrier to regional trade and initiated a strategic solution" she said. To this end, it focused on its nearest trading and regional neighbour, the Republic of Cuba. As many of you are aware, the Bahamas shares regional trade agreements with the Republic of Cuba. The goals then became to stimulate and encourage the flow of trade and commerce at all sectors of industry thereby creating opportunities for the citizen within the regional areas.

The success of these activities of course needs to be secured and supported by offering a scheduled air service[8] to the republic of Cuba from the Bahamas and therefore providing a bridge for Bahamians, Cubans, and those from the US with full complete approval to visit Cuba for vacation, education, health care and family visits. Likewise for them to also visit the Bahamas and other regional areas.” BCB is already engaged with businesses that are interested in the new service, Ms Burland said, adding that BCB and Western Air “recognise the need” for reliable air transportation service between the Bahamas and other countries in the region. “We are providing these air link services to provide the venue for large scale development and hotel development to reach its strategic goals by positioning itself to support these developments as we seek to create our strategic partnering programme to enhance and promote regional developments.”

The Western Air service leaves Nassau for Havana at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It leaves Havana on its return trip to Nassau at 8:15 pm the same day.

Fleet[edit]

Western Air Fairchild SA-227AC Metro III

As of November 2009 the Western Air fleet includes:[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bahamian Airlines: Western Air | Saab 340A". YouTube.com. Cameronmd80. Retrieved 2014-08-30. 
  2. ^ "About Us." Western Air. Retrieved on 16 May 2010.
  3. ^ "Western Air STAFF's Reply to Mrs. Rolle". Bahamas Uncensored. Retrieved 8/30/14.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "New Western Air terminal takes shape on Grand Bahama". Bahama Island Info. Retrieved 01-03-10.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ "Western Air Opens 4M Terminal". BahamasLocal.com. 2013-10-29. 
  6. ^ "The Bahamas' Western Air Lands In Jamaica". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved April 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Western Air to begin direct service to Jamaica". Bahamas Islands Info. 17 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "New Direct Flight To Cuba". Bahamas Journal. Retrieved 08/10/13.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/03/25/339966/western-air-targets-abandoned-air-jamaica-routes.html

External links[edit]