A few years ago when then minister of finance Dr Omar Davis sold the Heathrow slots in the UK we were all very livid, as we believed we could have gotten a lot more for it.
Never in my wildest dream would I have imagined that 4 years later, the Bruce Golding lead JLP would have outdone this rather ludicrous act by then government (the PNP), but he has done just that.
The transportation minister in the twin island Republic of Trinidad last Thursday made it very clear that they were NOT buy or even merging with the beleaguered airline, Air Jamaica. Instead the minister stunned millions of Jamaicans when he stated that Trinidad was merely taking over the profitable routes that Air Jamaica used to fly.
Lets put in bulletpoints
- Trinidad is NOT buying Air Jamaica.
- Trinidad is not absorbing any debt of Air Jamaica (We already knew that).
- Trinidad has no obligation to the Jamaican workers.
- Trinidad will ONLY fly on the profitable routes Air Jamaica had.
- Trinidadian based Caribbean Airlines will become the Jamaica’s National Airline.
- CAL will have exclusive rights in Jamaica.
- Trinidad gets to pick all the slots they want and they pay nothing to acquire them.
What does Jamaica get in return for the dumbest deal ever negotiated?
- Jamaica will absorb all the debts of the National Airline
- Jamaica will pay all redundancy benefits to former Air Jamaica workers
- Jamaica will close down Air Jamaica, April 11, 2010.
- Jamaica will have to secure deal i.e. pay other carriers to secure airlift for taking tourist to Jamaica on those routes that CAL will not fly, so as not to disrupt the tourism product.
- What will happen if those profitable routes than CAL has taken over stop making profit? Well you guess it right, CAL will simply pull those routes, leaving the Jamaican government to pay other carriers to airlift tourist to Jamaica on those routes.
- What guarantees are there in this agreement between the GOJ & Trinidad as it relates to these routes, I firmly believe nothing is in it for us.
Well Jamaica will absorb all the cost involved in this transition to Caribbean Airline and amazingly Trinidad will not be paying over to us one red cent, yes not a red cent.
Jamaica will also have to find money to secure carriers to airlift tourist on the routes that CAL will not take over, but are important to the tourism product.
Trinidad will take over well establish slots, sale price = $0.00
Trinidad will take over profitable routes, sale price = $0.00
How about landing fees , Cal now pays nothing = $0.00
Being the National Airline of Jamaica we will actually be losing now as CAL will no longer be paying landing fees.(Every Airline that lands in Jamaica is required to pay landing fees).
So four years ago we sold the Heathrow slots of a very low price, but Bruce did better than that, the JLP gave away ALL the fully developed slots to Trinidad.
We will not get a penny for all money and effort we have spent developing and marketing these routes over the years.
The JLP have no idea what is Goodwill, and hence will give everything away without a dime changing hands.
Mr. Shaw were where you in this deal, did you not know that the word Jamaica is a brand name and has such has tremendous intrinsic value, yet you allowed your boss to agree to give it away for free.
It’s not over yet as Jamaica is still stuck with the two planes it owns and have been trying to get rid of for sometime. We still would have to be carrying these on the books, pay maintenance cost, insurance coupled with depreciation cost while we hold them awaiting a sale.
Are we going to give those away to CAL too, Mr. Prime Minster tell us what are the plans for the two planes.
I say Bruce should be impeached with immediate effect; he lied and, mislead the nation about the nature of the sale when he knew fully well there was no sale, but a giveaway.
No elected member of government should ever be allowed to giveaway national assets and hence impeachment proceeding should start forthwith.
This is a national disgrace and not doubt will go down as the worst negotiation that has ever taken place in the country’s history
At a time when we are borrowing heavily, how can we afford to be a Santa Claus.
We have become the laughing stock of the entire Caribbean, as not even Haiti would agree to this deal that Bruce and his party carved out.
All involved should resign and locked up and charged with fraud, deception and breach of public trust.
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