Questions for JALPA
THE EDITOR, Sir:
AT A recent press conference, the Jamaica Airline Pilots Association (JALPA), stated that it has private sector backers ready to finance its bid to purchase Air Jamaica and that it also has the support of the Opposition. The questions are why didn't the association make a bid from the onset?
Where were these private sector backers when the initial bid was opened to divest this tax-burdened airline? Where was the present Opposition when Air Jamaica was rescued by the government back in 2004? Like the sugar industry, Air Jamaica was in private hands and had to be rescued by the government of Jamaica. The results are still being felt even at this time.
The government and, by extension, the people of this country, genuinely cannot afford the costs associated with operating the lovebird. There are talks of maintaining the brand, loss of niche market, and selfishness on part of government but, when these issues are examined, it is merely a futile attempt at nothing. The government is left no choice but to sell the airline.
If JALPA is given this airline to operate, how will they compete and cope with the Open Skies Agreement, low-budget airlines, escalating fuel costs, disgruntled workers and unions, maintenance of aircraft and a decrease in the travel market?
There are many roads to success but, they are all uphill.
I am, etc.,