Transport, Works and Housing Minister Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies met with a delegation from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago led by that country’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Investments, Sen. the Hon. Vasant Bharath on Tuesday, June 18, to discuss issues concerning the operations of Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL). The delegation included the High Commissioner to Jamaica Dr. Iva Gloudon, as well as representatives of the newly constituted Board of Directors of CAL.
The discussions dealt with, among other issues, CAL’s arrears to Jamaican entities, its Jamaican operations and employment policies for Jamaican workers.
As it relates to CAL’s arrears, it was acknowledged that there have been significant improvements in payments since December with a commitment made to pay outstanding sums by the end of June.
The matters of union representation and the hiring of Jamaicans were raised by Minister Davies. Minister Bharath committed to holding dialogue with Trinidad and Tobago’s National Security Minister to address these concerns. He indicated that the airline intended to further integrate Jamaican expertise into their operations and as such were looking to hire pilots and cabin crew.
Minister Davies pointed out that the question of marketing and airlift were very important to Jamaica’s diaspora as well as the tourism sector and needed to be addressed. It was agreed that the Joint Working Group will be reconvened to address these issues and examine the possibility and scope for dual branding.
It was agreed that communication between the Jamaican and Trinidadian authorities would be strengthened to improve coordination and information flow for the future development of the airline.
Other participants at today’s meeting included Tourism Minister Dr. Wykeham McNeill; Minister without Portfolio in the MTWH Dr. Morais Guy; Permanent Secretary in the MTWH Mrs. Audrey Sewell; Chairman of the Air Policy Committee Hon. Noel Hylton; Chairman of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority Hon. Michael Hylton; Chairman of the NMIA Ltd Mr. Joseph Matalon; Jamaica’s Representative on the Board of Directors of CAL, Hon. Dennis Lalor and Director of Tourism Mr. John Lynch.