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New regional air carrier emerges

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bimjim
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New regional air carrier emerges

Unread post by bimjim » Sun Oct 17, 2010

http://66.132.217.137/gleaner/20101015/ ... ness9.html

New regional air carrier emerges
Friday | October 15, 2010

A start-up regional carrier has emerged out of Suriname but little is known about the airline, which calls itself CARICOM Airways. The company's head office location is listed as Paramaribo, where the carrier is said to be St Lucian-owned.

St Lucia's Tourism Minister Allen Chastanet announced Wednesday that the new carrier would begin operations on November 3 - servicing Dominica and St Lucia and allowing passenger connections to international flights, CMC reported.

The airline's website remains under construction since February but advertises that it is now hiring pilots, cabin and ground crew, and aircraft mechanics.

Chastanet said CARICOM Airways would be using nine-seater islanders "to keep the flights very, very cheap and will provide connections on to JetBlue to New York, American Airlines to Miami, Delta to Atlanta and both Virgin Airways and British Airways to London."

It will also provide connection with WestJet into Toronto, Canada.

Chastanet said users of the new service would be exempt from paying departure taxes in St Lucia if they are in-transit.

"We have a facility in place for St Vincent where you can pre-clear Customs and Immigration in St Lucia for St Vincent and we will be working with the Dominica government with the possibility of seeing if we could make that happen as well," he said.

Chastanet said that while the origin of the airline is Suriname, it is a St Lucian company, and would be providing daily connections to the international flights.

He gave no details of the investment.

The St Lucian government is a shareholder in another regional carrier, LIAT.

Caribbean Airlines of Trinidad is currently negotiating a merger with the small carrier, with the idea of eventually creating a single regional carrier.

The Trinidad airline has already acquired Air Jamaica and says it hopes to replicate that deal with LIAT.

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Re: New regional air carrier emerges

Unread post by bimjim » Sun Oct 17, 2010

Hmmmm... a start-up regional carrier CARICOM Airline is proposed in 2008 and was announced a year and a half ago - Mar 13, 2009 - in Belize.

Lessee, now here's a mouth-full: CARICOM Airways suddenly emerges in Suriname with head office listed as Paramaribo, is apparently St Lucian-owned, has mouthpiece (and investor??) Minister "Foot-in-mouth" Chastanet announcing that the new carrier would begin operations on November 3 servicing Dominica and St Lucia with nine-seater islanders and is now hiring pilots, cabin and ground crew and aircraft mechanics.

Three weeks before start-up there is no web site, the Islanders "will keep the flights very, very cheap" and will provide connections to JetBlue, American Airlines, Delta, Virgin Airways, British Airways, and WestJet where intransit passengers would be exempt from paying departure taxes in St Lucia.

Suriname-registered and -based? Hello, ECCAA? Is this not against the EC laws and regulations?

And using Islanders? Wow... Minister "Foot-in-mouth" Chastanet is bringing something brand new and revolutionary to the table!!! NOT!!! Subject to correction, I think the last Islanders to be produced came off the production line some twenty years ago...

By the way, the St Lucian government is NOT a shareholder in LIAT. But going by Minister "Foot-in-mouth" Chastanet's behaviour it IS a "$hyte-holder" (in LIAT), with him pouring insults and scorn on that airline while at the same time his own fellow St. Lucians use the same airline daily to go about their inter-island travel and make international connections through Barbados and elsewhere.

And American Eagle is now pulling out of the Eastern Caribbean... gee, thanks for all your fully-paid-up mercenary service - and thanks also for finally removing "Foot-in-mouth"'s competition, Eagle. I always knew where their loyalties and priorities lay, but apparently Minister Chastanet's foot is so far up his mouth and putting pressure on his brain that he couldn't figure that out.

You know what? Seriously, this sounds like a copycat of the Canadian CanJet business plan, where the investors were not at all interested in an airline but sought to sell it to Air Canada as soon as they could negotiate a sweetheart price - while at the same time destroying the carefully constructed career paths of hundreds of pilots, flight attendants, engineers and customer service professionals. Maybe the thought process is to try to sell this one to Caribbean Airlines so the Trinis can shut it down to preserve their megalomaniac dreams of a single Trinidadian regional carrier.

(Air Canada did not take the CanJet bait, so the investors did not make their massive millions. Now, I suppose, they have sold their shares to someone else, because they have kept it running as a sched/charter operation.)

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