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Caribbean Airlines Prepares to Take Over

Essay by   •  August 5, 2011  •  Essay  •  484 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,685 Views

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KINGSTON, Jamaica--Employees of the cash-strapped national airline, Air Jamaica were Wednesday advised that their jobs would be made redundant on April 12, the 'target' date for Caribbean Airlines to take over its operations.

It was the clearest indication that the sale of the national carrier to Trinidad's Caribbean Airlines was a done deal, which means renewed attempts recently by the airline's workers to acquire the company, through the Jamaican Airline Pilots Association, were futile.

Air Jamaica President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bruce R Nobles, in a memo to staff, said members of the transition team from Caribbean Airlines were currently at the airline completing due diligence work which includes a reviewing of information about employees, company policies, as well as conducting interviews and psychometric testing.

"Additional information regarding interviews and jobs will be made available shortly," Nobles advised the Air Jamaica workers.

The divestment, said Nobles, has evolved to a position where certain decisions have been taken and associated timelines determined.

"The current transition proposal is to continue to operate Air Jamaica utilising our existing fleet under contract to Caribbean Airlines for perhaps as long as one year. Caribbean Airlines will be financially responsible for the transition operation after the transaction date," Nobles told his staff in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by the Observer.

He added: "In order to operate the 'transition' Jamaican operation, a new company will be formed to hire the personnel required. Those employees will be hired under fixed-term contracts. The number of jobs required and the terms and conditions of employment are still being finalised."

Nobles said Air Jamaica was working diligently to develop a structure that will ensure that customers can continue to book and fly to and from the island with confidence, and as such was working to develop a "seamless" transition.

The airline's objectives, said the CEO, was first to ensure a seamless transition for customers, minimise the impact on its family and third to fairly deal with all the outside companies which have done business with Air Jamaica over the years.

He also made it clear to staff that the Government was not in a position to continue providing financial support for Air Jamaica.

"I know that I can count on your co-operation and support during this critical time in the life of Air Jamaica, and I look forward to discussing this in more detail with you as plans become more definitive," Nobles told the Air Jamaica staff.

In 2008 Government appointed International Finance Corporation -- the private sector arm of the World Bank Group -- to serve as lead advisers

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