JIS News

Dr. Vincent Lawrence, chairman of the Urban Development Corporation, will lead a nine-member board, which has been appointed by the government, to lead the restructuring of national airline, Air Jamaica, over the next six months.
Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Omar Davies, who named the members of the board at a press conference held at his National Heroes Circle office in Kingston on December 23, said that Dr. Lawrence would occupy the position of Executive Chairman for a period up to June 2005.
His priority mandate is to “oversee the restructuring activity and to recruit and appoint an appropriately qualified CEO (Chief Executive Officer) with extensive airline experience,” Dr. Davies informed.
Dr. Lawrence also chairs the boards of the National Hotel and Properties Limited, the Bauxite and Alumina Trading Company of Jamaica Limited and Jamaica Bauxite Mining Limited and is deputy chairman of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and a director of the National Investment Bank of Jamaica.
Supporting Dr. Lawrence will be Mr. Aubyn Hill, former Managing Director of the National Commercial Bank (NCB), who will head the Restructuring Office, which has been established.
“This office will have the immediate responsibility of implementing the new structure for the airline, which will allow it to move toward a path of viability,” Dr. Davies stated.
The other members of the board are Derick Latibeaudiere, Governor of the Central Bank of Jamaica; Noel Hylton, Executive Chairman of the Port Authority of Jamaica; Paul Pennicook, Executive Director of the Jamaica Tourist Board; Millicent Hughes, newly-appointed Accountant-General; Keith Senior, a government-appointed member of the board; O.K. Melhado, Director of the Manufacturers/Sigma Merchant Bank; and Senator Noel Sloley.
The mandate of the new interim board, Dr. Davies said, was not only to maintain the reputation that the airline has earned over the past decade, but also “to maintain the position while pursuing viability through rightsizing, in order to realise operating surpluses and overall cost savings.”