JIS News

Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Caribbean Hotel Association, Alec Sanguinetti has recommended that a Caribbean airline be created to meet the travel needs of the regional tourist industry.
Mr. Sanguinetti, who was speaking at the annual Tourism Achievement Awards Ceremony, held yesterday (September 27) at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, said this Caribbean air transport system would supplement the services being provided by external carriers, and would result in economic savings and higher service standards.
“The integrated airline of the Caribbean, with proper capitalization, private sector ownership and professional management, will produce a world class airline delivering profitability and reliability along with schedule and service improvements at lower fares across the region,” he argued.
Mr. Sanguinetti said the creation of a regional carrier would have to be complemented by a common Caribbean aviation policy, inclusive of the establishment of common regional air traffic procedures, the integration of existing air traffic control centres and equipment, including staffing, training and administration.
According to the Director General, the region could not afford a repeat of the 1973 oil crisis that saw the two major US carriers which were serving Jamaica severely withdrawing or cancelling their services, a move which put the Jamaican tourist industry at risk, prompting the national carrier to expand its services to fly the country out of the crisis.
He said with the airline industry in the region and internationally now in a state of turmoil, and the Caribbean’s dependence on tourism, an integrated restructuring of existing regional airlines to create a profitable privatized carrier, which was responsive to regional market requirements, was demanded. He noted that such a development would be accompanied by ensuing economic savings, with higher standards to be gained through the efficiencies achieved.
Mr. Sanguinetti further noted that there was a need for regional carriers to work more closely together, to provide point-to-point services from external markets to the region and to distribute the traffic to smaller destinations within the region, which would otherwise be deprived of business.
“Caribbean carriers should therefore be encouraged by specific policy incentives and directives if necessary, to achieve effective functional co-operation,” he said.

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