Highly indebted Caribbean Airlines shedding staff

Highly indebted Caribbean Airlines shedding staff

Caribbean_Airlines_logo-600x270Demerara Waves Sunday, 31 March 2013

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) is reportedly facing what amounts to a more than $500 million debt, and the airline has already refused to renew the contracts of several persons in Jamaica to save money.

The Trinidad Express newspaper on Saturday quoted the airline’s spokesman, Clint Williams as saying that he could not address reports of bankruptcy and the carrier was trying to borrow $100 million from the Trinidad and Tobago government to pay its staff and suppliers.

“We prefer not to discuss any specific aspect of the report that we have seen in the media at this time.    

“CAL is currently in a stabilisation and transformation initiative and our short- and medium-term goals will see us rationalising cost and driving revenues towards more self-sustaining and profitable operation…the initiative has been developed with full partnership from the board and personnel from the Ministry of Finance,” Williams added.

“And at this time we prefer not to comment on specifics of the internal activities, simply to say that the industry demands greater operational productivity and we are moving in that direction.”

CAL has already eliminated 15 flight attendant positions and three pilots at its Jamaica operations now that their contracts have come to an end.

The newspaper also reported that CAL was also now weighing its options about the future of its Jamaica operations including a Call Centre which employs 90 people.

, general manager of Caribbean Airlines in Jamaica, told RJR News that the expiration of the contracts also coincided with cost cutting measures at the entity.

“Unfortunately those contracts not being renewed are driven by some cost-saving initiatives to manage our cost out of the Financial Year 2012. So that was the context; and we continue to have dialogue with the union to manage how we go forward to mitigate any impact upon staff as we try to remain viable,” said Mr. Forbes.

In 2011 when CAL merged with Air Jamaica, CAL took over what were deemed the profitable routes held by Air Jamaica and those operations are now said to be running at a loss, according to the weekly news publication.

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—Guyanese Online Post # 2540

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Comments

  • Cyril Balkaran  On April 1, 2013 at 2:25 am

    The Airline business is always risky economics and judging from the 3 to 4 years of CAL adjustments with AIR Jamaica since 2010, we know that the economic recovery will be slow and painful. If management must cut costs to keep the planes in the sky then we will also be bothered about those who lose contracts and have no further sources of Income

  • Martins  On April 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Okay, if they are losing money, they have to do something to stay in business. That is understood.
    The thought that occurs to me is – In ‘shedding staff’, at what point does it become unsafe. Perhaps you have shed so much staff that maintenance checks that used to be done, lets say,once a week is now being done once a month!
    There is just one area that could be affected, if the thought is only ‘we must make a profit’.
    Something to think about.

  • wycs  On April 1, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I understand that Jamaica Airline was profitable. How come since this take over by Cal it has suddenly gone into a spin? CAL will now have to sell it to Mr Branson who wanted to purchase it in the first place. Was this greed by CAL.

  • wycs  On April 1, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Is this real or CAL is handing us an all fool’s day message. I hope so.

  • Cyril balkaran  On April 2, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Why is the Airline Industry not encouraging Private entrepreneurship? The recent fiasco of having two privately run aircrafts EZjet and Redjet run underground was partially due to financial mismanagement by EZ jet ceo and others and the Irishman who tested the airline Industry with his Red Jet proposals did not get the needed support from our lack lustre CARICOM grouping. They out of some strange reason could not see the benefits of supporting another privately run aircraft as Red Jet. The same is true of the lack of an Agriculture Policy for the Region. Although land is available to CARICOM through the Jagdeo Initiative no Caricom discussions were ever held. WE as a region still honor the North American Agreements of supplying a labor force annually to palnt and read crops in the USA and Canada and elsewhere, while leaving vast expance of Agricultural lands unattended. This caricom grouping is not about Progress for the Region. They faulted on the Regional Airline Issue and also on a Common Agricultural Policy for us. May be the Secretariat needs new and fresh Leadership. The role of the Secretariat needs to be spelt out in clear and understandable terms. Do we need a Secretary General as SS Ramphal to pilot this Institution and to make the leaders become aware of their Roles and Responsibilities. They are all heads of States. All 14 of them. What is their agenda for the region in the 21st Century? The Caribbean People must know this also!

  • Yogi  On April 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    CAL will always lose money, until is start to adjust the routes and the number of flights. CAL never flies a full plane. All of the US Flagged airlines are making money with fewer flights and fuller planes. There is no need for 3 to 4 flight to JFK daily or 2 to 3 flight to FLL/MIA daily. CAL need to understand fuel is high, so having full planes is a way of making money. Second, CAL is too busy trying to push other airlines out, which are causing them to lose money. Example Delta was the only carrier going to Georgetown from JFK at 0100, then CAL decided they needed to have a flight at 1245 am. Doing this cause CAL to rent a plane just to support a route that is not making money! After which Delta pulled out of the market, the same thing happen when CAL decided to have to leave at 1200 from JFK to POS, one just before Delta flight. Third they should trying to Code share with the Sky team, since not all Trini or Jamaicans live in NYC, MIA, TON or London. I live in the DC are and both the CAL and Air Jamaican flight has stopped in the area. I would fire the whole management team and bring in outside management.

  • Clyde Duncan  On April 17, 2013 at 5:40 am

    It seems you all have a point to make pertaining to improving the efficiency of CAL. I hope the management at Caribbean Airlines read Guyanese Online – this, seems to me, like free and effective advice. In addition to the foregoing, I would suggest they have a look at duplication of resources – like management and other resources. Also, they should consider a merger with LIAT – one airline for the Caribbean. And relocation of the headquarters to Guyana. We have the real estate for a base of operations, training facilities and maintenance.

  • Cyril Balkaran  On April 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

    The chairman of the CAL Board of management, Mr. Rabindra Moonan can be reached on Facebook also. I got him recently in trying to suggest to him night flights in and out of CJIA. Managemeny systems in CAL speak of major deficiences and inefficiencies and they will continue to lose money on lucrative markets unless management is considerably improved.

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