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Prime Minister Bruce Golding has publicly addressed the issue of the group of pilots who have expressed an interest to own and operate Air Jamaica.
“Any entity that is proposing to take on Air Jamaica by debt financing, borrowing money, I would advise them sincerely, don’t go there. If you are not able to get in on the basis of equity, where you have the cash and you are prepared to invest that cash and put it at risk because you believe that you can make it work, then my advice is don’t go there”.
Mr. Golding continued, “the pilots have made some assumptions and I would caution them. The US$25 million that we would be paying to workers in terms of redundancy, you cannot assume that the workers are going to turn around and invest that money as equity in the airline. I am not saying that some won’t, but I would be very skeptical of any suggestion, or any talk, that a huge portion of that US$25 million is going to be foregone by the workers, and be put in an entity.. It is at great risk, and even to do this, I would not myself accept that that is a business proposition.”
The Prime Minster made this statement in Parliament during the medium-term economic plan debate on January 26. The Government is currently in negotiations with Caribbean Airlines for the sale of Air Jamaica.