JIS News

Minister of Finance, Omar Davies has expressed confidence that the newly appointed Air Jamaica Board will be able to continue working towards returning the airline to one of viability and profitability.
Today (Oct. 19) the Finance Minister officially announced the appointment of returning Air Jamaica Board member Owen K. Melhado as Chairman and American, Michael Conway as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Airline. The announcement was made at the Ministry’s National Heroes Circle Offices in Kingston.
“The appointment of this new Board marks the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Air Jamaica and I am confident that this combination of persons who comprise the new Board will, under the Chairmanship of O.K Melhado carry the airline forward and continue the rebuilding work started,” Minister Davies informed.
The 13-member Board also include new members Dr. Jeffrey Meeks, Orthodontist; Professor Rex Nettleford, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI); and businessman Horace Reid.
Returning members from the interim board include Noel Hylton, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Port Authourity of Jamaica; Derrick Latibeaudiere, Governor of the Bank of Jamaica; Dr. Vincent Lawrence, Executive Chairman of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC); government Senator, Noel Sloley; Millicent Hughes, Accountant General; and Paul Pennicook, Director of Tourism.
Minister Davies also noted that a worker’s representative would be appointed. He further pointed out that of particular significance was the fact that although the new CEO was a US citizen, he would become a full time resident of Jamaica.
“Mr. Conway comes to us a highly qualified professional with decades of experience at the senior level in the airline industry,” Minister Davies added.
The Minister noted that the CEO’s colourful career included co-founding two U.S. Airlines and becoming the youngest CEO of a major airline, American Airlines in 1991. Mr. Conway will take up his post officially on November 1.
Minister Davies assured the new CEO and Board of the government’s support and charged them to be focused on the ultimate goal of a “viable and profitable Air Jamaica”.
In respect of the outgoing Board members Minister Davies commended Dr. Lawrence who is the former Executive Chairman of the Board and added, “the members of the outgoing Interim Board can state with confidence that they discharged the mandate given to them. Significant restructuring has taken place”.