President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Warren Smith, is calling for a new paradigm in the aviation industry, defined by connectivity which is convenient, flexible, and reasonably priced.
Dr. Smith noted that transforming the Caribbean airline industry will demand significant reforms and actions by regional governments.
He adds that this will also lead to a better overall customer experience and to aviation making an even bigger contribution to regional economic activity.
The CDB President said that the cost of intra-regional travel is a major deterrent to travel, saying that in many instances, high taxes have made fares uncompetitive.
Dr. Smith noted that a reduction in these costs could lead to an increase in travel.
Specific measures recommended by the CDB President to revamp the aviation industry included harmonising regulation across the Caribbean, adopting and implementing a comprehensive open skies agreement, and strengthening the internal operation of Caribbean airlines.