Air Jamaica must keep safety record
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I have been studying the Air Jamaica situation since 1982, when I completed a study of the airline as part of team of MBA students from the University of Western Ontario.
We forecasted the impending financial crisis that would face the airline and Government. The then PM Edward Seaga wisely gave Air J's management a five-year mandate, which was largely ignored. We made numerous recommendations, which were largely ignored.
A key success factor of Air J has been its pilots and maintenance staff's knowledge and training, which resulted in an impeccable safety record. The Air J brand and safety record were, and still are, a key competitive value proposition for the airline.
The merger has seen Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) imploring lean management. This LEAN management, if not executed properly, will threaten the safety record of Air J.
I strongly suggest to the governments of Jamaica and T&T to ensure that CAL implements a serious risk-management plan, so as not to put at risk the safety record of Air J. This risk-management plan would seek to proactively prevent, detect, correct, direct and communicate any actions or behaviours that compromise this safety record.
Lean management methods are good practices, but efforts must be made to avoid poor judgement and operations management errors.
I wish Air J and CAL all the best, as I know that this merger is tenuous at best, but will only work with proper management, top to bottom.