Trinidad and Tobago governments sign deal for airlines merger

Jamaica’s Finance Minister Audley Shaw said Kingston was “therefore hopeful for a very very long and fruitful relationship.

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Air Jamaica

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC- The Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica governments Thursday hailed the agreement allowing for the Port of Spain-based Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to take over the operations of Air Jamaica as true sense of economic integration within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

At a brief signing ceremony here, Jamaica’s Finance Minister Audley Shaw said Kingston was “therefore hopeful for a very very long and fruitful relationship.

“But perhaps, just perhaps, this merger between Caribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica will indicate to the region the true sense of economic integration. That there are other things we can do in this region, this therefore should be the beginning of so many other areas of partnership”.

His Trinidad and Tobago counterpart, Winston Dookeran said Caribbean airline will now “have legal access to all the routes that were being flown by Air Jamaica giving it an opportunity to expand in the global arena”.

He said the agreement will also allow Caribbean Airlines to claim “it is the designated air carrier for Jamaica in the world at large”.

In April last year, the Bruce Golding government assumed all financial liabilities up to the end of that month for Air Jamaica with CAL assuming the financial risk of continuing Air Jamaica’s activities from May 1, 2010.

Under the agreement, the Jamaica government will own 16 per cent of the Trinidad-based CAL while Port of Spain will spend an estimated US$49.2 million to facilitate the expansion of CAL, which took over r five of Air Jamaica’s profitable routes last year.

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