Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
Three years ago, Ava Transportation (Jamaica) Limited conducted a survey of air travel in the region, and based on their findings, decided to establish a new airline service that will connect Jamaica, the Caribbean and the Americas.
According to Olivier Arrindell, vice-president of Ava Transport-ation (Jamaica) Limited, his team has been studying how to make the project work for the benefit of the region. "Our objective is to offer direct connectivity to the Carib-bean islands and the Americas," he said. "Our focus is not driven by profit, but by the service we will give. Based on our economic plans, our aim is also to have loyal customers throughout the region, getting to their destinations much faster."
not about competition
Arrindell said they will not be in the business to compete, but to provide a service. The plan he said is to have a quicker movement around the region. Based in Jamaica, Ava Transportation (Jamaica) Limited was officially registered earlier this year and has begun the process of certifying the airline with the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA).
According to Leroy Lindsay, director general of the JCAA, the company has completed 50 per cent of the requirements for the certification process, and over the next three months, should complete up to the demonstration phase.
"They are almost at the end of phase one of a number of phases to go through; the others are not as time-consuming," said Lindsay. We also have to exercise due diligence regarding the prospective airline and the individuals behind it.
"We have to thoroughly investigate their financial standing as the government is very careful about where funds are coming from to finance an airline. We have to make sure that the funding of the airline can stand up to scrutiny and can fund itself for up to one year without earning funds to support them," Lindsay added.
Meanwhile, Roger Williams, president of Ava Transportation (Jamaica) Limited, stated that commercial aviation in Jamaica has a long and proud history to which it is eager to build and preserve.
"For the past four years, we have designed and built what I consider to be the most innovative airline the world has ever seen," said Williams. "We will carry that innovation from the runways of Jamaica to places, both familiar, yet to be discovered."
The airline should begin operations with four aircrafts and will grow up to a fleet of 25 with an estimated spend of US$800 million.