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Air Jamaica Deal

04/19/10

Permalink 11:13:14 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary

Air Jamaica Deal

In 2007 Air Jamaica's London, Heathrow slots were sold to Virgin Atlantic airlines for £5.1million (US$10.2 million). Jamaican’s former Finance Minister, Dr Omar Davies was the person with overall responsible for negotiating the deal. Today, 2010, Dr. Davis is being accused of unlawfully and improperly intervening in the sale of the London Heathrow slots. Reports are that Dr. Davis made false statement to mislead, or attempted to mislead, a contractor general, contrary to Section 29(a) of the Contractor General Act". The Jamaica Constabulary Force has asked the Greg Christie-led Office of the Contractor General (OCG) to carefully craft a formal complaint against Dr. Davies.

Today, Air Jamaica is being given away. Not sold, but being given away. Not given away with its debt, but being given away free of debt. Who will pay the heavy debts which Air Jamaica now owes? Believe it or not, the Jamaican Government. Sorry that is the Jamaican tax payers, you and I. What about the present routes that Air Jamaica now has, how much is the present Finance Minister, Audley Shaw getting for them? Not to mention the level of secrecy (deception) surrounding the divestment of Air Jamaica from day one.

Now, I think the arguments re the divestment of Air Jamaica has been exhausted. The company continues to make a lost and must be removed from the government’s budget. The present CEO, Mr. Bruce Nobles is reported to have had a great business plan which is supposed to be improving the company’s position. Apparently, too little, too late. What about the Air Jamaica’s pilot and employee’s bid for the company? Not sure why that option was treated with such contempt by the government, but it never seemed to have been a consideration. The Minister of Tourism, Mr. Edmond Bartlet appears very happy to pay any other airline but his national carrier to ensure that tourist have a means of getting to Jamaica. Not sure who his advisors are or why Mr. Christie is not investigating his statements, however the country continues to suffer because of Mr. Bartlet’s follies. I hope when the other airlines just up and leave Jamaica, Mr. Bartlet has a plan. And it puzzles me greatly how so many other carriers are willing to snatch up the unprofitable routes that Air Jamaica has discarded.   

Three years ago one minister sold a piece of our National carrier. Many Jamaicans disagreed with the move at the time however it was done and we all accepted it. Today that minister is being questioned about it. Today the rest of Air Jamaica is being given away and again we are all standing by and allowing it to happen. It is time for us Jamaicans to be proactive instead of reactive. I think we all agree that something needs to be done about Air Jamaica, but is giving it away free, in the best interest of Jamaicans. Maybe Mr. Greg Christie could use his office to lead a formal investigation on the matter now and not some years in the future.

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Three Ministers

Three ministers - a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Southern Baptist and their wives were all on a cruise together. A tidal wave came up and swamped the ship, and they all drowned. The next thing you know, they're standing before St.Peter.

As fate would have it, the first in line was the Presbyterian and his wife. St. Peter shook his head sadly and said, "I can't let you in. You were moral and upright, but you loved money too much. You loved it so much, you even married a woman named Penny."

St.Peter waved sadly, and poof! Down the chute to the 'Other Place' they went. Then came the Methodist. "Sorry, can't let you in either," said Saint Peter "You abstained from liquor and dancing and cards, but you loved food too much.

You loved food so much, you even married a woman named Candy!" Sadly, St. Peter waved again, and whang! Down the chute went the Methodists.

The Southern Baptist turned to his wife and whispered nervously, "It ain't looking good, Fanny."

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