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Why not consider JALPA's bid?

Published:Monday | February 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir,

I too would like to add my voice in querying the Government's choice of selling Jamaica's only remaining national treasure to Caribbean Airlines. The absolute pride of watching an Air Jamaica flight take off and land by our own Jamaican pilots in any city is beyond words.

Albeit that it is a well-established fact that the Government can no longer afford the airline, it boggles the mind why the Bruce Golding-led administration and the Dennis Lalor-led divestment team does not find it favourable to consider the proposal by the Jamaica Airline Pilots Association (JALPA). To add insult to injury, the diaspora group indicated in an article in your newspaper on Saturday that they were not contacted and had expressed their willingness to assist. I cannot for the life of me understand why shares were not offered to the Jamaican people who are clearly more than willing to share the burden of purchasing the airline.

I listen very keenly to the many arguments put forward by various individuals, the gravest of all being the negative individuals who believe that people who support the JALPA Acquisition Group are emotional. Let us not forget the tremendous safety record that Air Jamaica enjoys. It is no easy accomplishment to be flying for over 40 years without a major accident.

Govt not open-minded?

I am pleading with the Government to look at the JALPA proposal with a very open mind, bearing in mind the thousands of people that will be left jobless, so that we can salvage a little pride by keeping Air Jamaica, Jamaican, and that a little legacy can be left for our children and grandchildren.

If all the options to keep Air Jamaica in Jamaica are thoroughly explored, and it is found that the only viable one is for Caribbean Airlines to purchase our national airline, I believe that it will be an easier pill for most to swallow. Until then, over to you Mr Prime Minister and Mr Lalor. My only question then is, what loss would it be to the Government if JALPA's proposal was to be favoured over Caribbean Airline's?

We anxiously await a meaningful discussion with the JALPA group.

I am, etc.,