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Caribbean Airlines to be restructured
2012-09-28 16:02:21 | (0 Comments)
The state-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) is being restructured taking into consideration also its relationship with Air Jamaica, Trinidadís Trade Minister Vasant Bharath has said.
Bharath, speaking at the end of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Thursday, said the newly introduced twice weekly CAL service to London using Gatwick airport was operating at between 75 and 85 per cent and that an additional flight was being added because of the demand.
He said the additional flight would also take up the slack caused by the decision of British Airways to withdraw one of its flights to Trinidad and Tobago.
"Caribbean Airlines is being restructured and re-looked at, its routes, its profitability as well as the entire integration process with Air Jamaica," he said, adding the issue of CAL planes using the Air Jamaica logo had been now solved.
"We can now fly Caribbean Airlines jets with Air Jamaica paraphernalia particularly to the Jamaican diaspora provided we say that it is an Air Jamaica flight operated under licence by Caribbean Airlines," he said.
In May, then finance minister Winston Dookeran told Parliament that the airline had recorded losses in excess of TT$50 million (US$8.3 million) last year, and owed several creditors including the United States Inland Revenue Service and the Norman Manley International Airport in Jamaica millions of dollars.
In 2010, Port of Spain and Kingston agreed to a deal that allowed the Jamaica government to own 16 per cent of CAL as part of the conditions for CAL taking over the lucrative routes of Air Jamaica.
The deal also allows for Trinidad and Tobago agreeing to a US$300 million transition plan for CAL to acquire and operate six Air Jamaica aircraft and eight of its routes.
Bharath told reporters that CAL's fuel subsidy issue, estimated at about "quarter of a billion dollars," was still to be worked out.
"We would be looking at those very intensely right after the budget," he said, adding that the restructuring of CAL would be done from a management as well as an operational capacity perspective.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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