Despite the announcement that airfares to Antigua return are reduced to $400 to accommodate the loss of ferry service, some residents are expressing concerns as it is not the true cost.
Callers on the ZJB Radio Montserrat programme What’s on Your Mind said the airfare leaves out all of the taxes which are due.
The airfare quoted on Wednesday by the Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo leaves out the airport tax, which was introduced in 2012 while the V.C. Bird International Airport was under construction.
The airport tax adds US$37.50 each way on the airfare. This means an additional $202.50 if you plan to stay longer than 24 hours on Antigua.
For travellers with Montserrat passports they pay EC$35 in departure taxes and EC$55 for those without a local passport.
As of today, Thursday April 7, 2016, access to the island is limited to air travel only as the ferry service provided for the past three years by Caribe Sun was discontinued after the government was unable to conclude contract negotiations.
There is concern that the loss of the ferry will affect several groups which are currently on island and need to leave over the coming days. This includes a group of 12 students and their university professor who were scheduled to leave by the ferry this weekend.
It also affected the Under 19 cricket team who were playing on Antigua. They had to pull out of the games in order to catch the final ferry and avoid being stranded there.
Both SVG Air and Fly Montserrat are said to be receiving subsidy to assist with the fare reductions.