KINGSTON, Jamaica: While updating Parliament last week on the sale of Air Jamaica, Prime Minister Bruce Golding said discussions with Caribbean Airlines will re-open once the exclusivity agreement with the second bidder expires.
During the session at Parliament last Thursday, Golding said: “Not having been able to arrive at an agreement that we felt was acceptable to Jamaicans, we indicated to Caribbean Airlines that we were open to discussions.
“I flew to Trinidad and met with the team that was there. Prime Minister Manning was not there because he is in Copenhagen. He and I have been on the phone repeatedly over the last few days discussing the matter and the team that I met with yesterday was fully authorized by him to pursue those discussions and to give us indications as to what their proposals are,” said Golding.
Golding said Caribbean Airlines has a vision of a regional carrier but Jamaica is a tourist destination and the country has particular interests that have to be served.
“I am satisfied based on our discussions I had that there is a full appreciation and I’m hoping that we may be able to arrive at an agreement that would relieve Jamaica of any further financial responsibilities and preserve and protect those critical roots that are vital to us as a tourist destination and for our Jamaicans living or travelling abroad. I am satisfied, based on the assurances given, that that is possible,” said Golding.
Golding added that in privatizing Air Jamaica, the government should not incur any liabilities going forward. (JIS)