PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The state-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has received an estimated three billion dollars in subsidies since 2011, Finance Minister Colm Imbert has said.
Responding to a question posed by Opposition Chief Whip Dr David Lee in the Parliament on Friday, Imbert said that the government gives a subsidy of TT$50 per adult seat for CAL’s Tobago airbridge.
He said the airline had benefited from subsidies in recent years from both the former People’s Partnership government and the present Keith Rowley administration. He said the subsidies also applied to other routes operated by CAL.
WILLEMSTAD - The management of the local airline InselAir is not involved in the negotiations and discussions on the acquisition of the company by Synergy Aerospace and they have not yet received an official statement about the state of affairs. This is according to the interim CEO of the company Juni Sluis.
According to Sluis, another team is working on creating a framework that will serve as the base with which the management has to negotiate.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Tropical Storm Bret with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (mph) was moving rapidly towards Trinidad and Grenada.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its 5.00 pm (local time) bulletin said that the storm, the first named for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was located about 125 miles south east of Trinidad and 225 miles south east of Grenada.
The center of the storm was located by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft to be near latitude 9.4 North, longitude 59.8 West.
“Bret is moving toward the west-northwest near 30 mph and is expected to continue at a slightly slower speed over the next 48 hours. On the forecast track, the tropical storm is expected to move near or over Trinidad and the eastern coast of Venezuela tonight and early Tuesday,” the NHC added.
It said that maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts and that “little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours”
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center, mainly north of the center and a tropical storm warning has gone into effect for Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Venezuela from Pedernales to Cumana including Isla de Margarita.
A storm watch remains in effect for Bonaire, Curacao and aruba.
The Trinidad and Tobago government announced the closure of schools and Education Minister Anthony Garcia said “this is to ensure that the safety of our students, our teachers and all those who operate within our schools is maintained.
“So because of safety issues we are closing all schools in Trinidad and in Tobago,” he added.
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young said “at this stage the Government’s position is that there should be no panic”.
“The OPDM (Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management) has been in constant communication with the necessary authorities including the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, the Met Office, the local and rural government, meaning all municipal corporations and other entities and State apparatus that would you expect to have to deal with a situation such as this,” he said on television here.
In Grenada, the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) said it is continuing to monitor the weather system and that the authorities have also announced that all schools will be closed Monday.
“Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the state of Grenada overnight Monday into Tuesday morning with moderate to strong convection and thundershowers. The disturbance is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 50 to 125 millimeters over the Windward Islands,’ NaDMA said.
AIRPORT, St. Maarten – Rob Ceravolo, CEO of Tropic Ocean Airways, the largest commercial operator of Cessna Caravan EX seaplanes in the world, confirms he will present at the 2nd Annual Caribbean Aviation Meetup in St. Maarten, being held June 13-15. During the event, a factory-new seaplane will be flown in from Tropic Ocean’s base of operations in Fort Lauderdale, FL for demonstrations and splash landings in St. Maarten, Anguilla and Nevis. Mr. Ceravolo will be joined by U.S. aircraft manufacturer Cessna/Textron Aviation, a leader in general aviation and partner of Tropic Ocean, and U.S. float manufacturer Wipaire. The focus of the 2nd Annual Caribbean Aviation Meetup will be on the exchange of experience and lessons learned between leaders in Caribbean aviation. The result being an overall improvement in Caribbean airlift.
Rob Ceravolo will share his experience of growing the airline company into an industry leader since its inception in 2009. Mr. Ceravolo will highlight how his business practices have been shaped by his experience as a veteran Navy fighter pilot and TOP GUN instructor alongside Tropic Ocean Airways’ Director of New Business, Mike Ritzi, who has many years of aviation experience in the Caribbean. Mr. Ritzi looks forward to the event and the opportunity it creates in bringing aligned businesses together. Mr. Ritzi believes, “The meetup will be a platform for improving travel and tourism in the islands of the Caribbean. Reliable airlift is the key to connecting islanders and tourists and serves as a strong contributor to economic growth in the region that we are happy to be a part of.”
AIRPORT, St. Maarten - A unique amphibian aircraft, the Cessna Caravan EX Seaplane, arrived on island on Monday at the commencement of the 2nd Annual Caribbean Aviation Meetup. The seaplane will be used for demonstration rides around St. Maarten, and to Anguilla and Nevis, with the conference providing an opportunity to explore the feasibility of setting up operations in the region.
"Just arrived to St. Maarten aboard a Tropic Ocean Airways Caravan on floats.
A great flight that set the stage for what's shaping up to be a great Caribbean Aviation Meetup 2017," said Rob Mark, an award winning journalist who together with Tropic Ocean Airways Chief Executive Office Robert Ceravolo will host a presentation on ‘Seaplanes in the Caribbean; potential for airlift and as a tourism product’.
Mark arrived with two pilots, who flew the aircraft in from Miami, Florida, via San Juan Puerto Rico for the two-day trip.
Not only can the seaplane be used for inter-island transportation, it can also be used for aerial sight-seeing tours, an attractive and unique tourism product. The aircraft can access destinations regardless of runway access, and is also capable of landing right at the beach.
Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Tropic Ocean Airways already offers first-class, fun, and adventurous seaplane services throughout South Florida, the Bahamas, and New York. The airline also boasts experienced pilots used to tropical and sometimes harsh environments. CEO Ceravolo founded the company in 2009, and is himself a Navy Topgun fighter pilot.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Minister of Tourism Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher recently held what she termed “extremely fruitful” follow-up discussions with officials of JetBlue airline to secure a new Fort Lauderdale-St. Maarten route. Initial discussions started earlier this year and the Minister used the opportunity to bring the flight closer to reality during her visit to New York last week to attend Caribbean Week hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
JetBlue officials told the Minister that they have completed their market research on the route and recognizes its enormous potential. The target date to kick off the service is towards the end of this year, but this could possibly stretch into 2018. The decision about the route will come in the next few weeks.
The discussions in New York were extensive and touched on various issues including St. Maarten’s hotel inventory, incentives towards the airline, JetBlue Vacations, the number of times a week for the scheduled flight ect.
“We are working diligently to secure more airlift for St. Maarten to key markets and destinations. JetBlue SXM-Fort Lauderdale is route we have always targeted and will compliment some other initiatives we are working on. The discussions were very positive and we look forward to finalizing very soon,” the Minister said.
Fort Lauderdale represents about 15% of JetBlue’s capacity, it’s the largest airline at that airport. The airline recently said that even though competition may be rising, JetBlue sees South Florida as a “large underserved market” with more expansion capabilities. JetBlue plans to continue to “grow thoughtfully” in the market,” the airline said.
WILLEMSTAD - Several media sources have indicated that Insel Air Aruba will be filing for bankruptcy in the upcoming days. This bankruptcy will have no effect on the air services being provided by Insel Air International BV. The two airlines have no financial links and are two different legal entities with each being registered in their respective territory.
The stabilization plan of Insel Air International BV is currently in effect and is showing very positive results in many areas among which is the on-time performance of the airline sitting at an average of 90% and a clear increase in customer satisfaction.
SOUTHLAKE, Texas – Pan Am World Airways Dominicana (PAWA) selected Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) as the airline’s leading technology provider. PAWA will leverage the breadth of Sabre’s leading technology portfolio, including the SabreSonic Customer Sales & Service reservations system, Revenue Optimizer and Revenue Integrity solutions, as well as Sabre’s Market Intelligence solution. This will enable the carrier to offer a reliable, efficient and profitable international air transport service that drives tourism and economic growth.
Core to PAWA’s technology transformation is migrating to the SabreSonic reservations system, an integrated Software-as-a-Service platform enabling personalized sales and service – including passenger check-in, inventory and departure control – as well as retailing and e-commerce solutions.
PAWA will also leverage other Sabre technology:
“The SabreSonic reservations system and other software will deliver new capabilities and flexible technology that will enhance our ability to provide the best possible customer experience,” said Gary Stone, President and CEO of PAWA. “Sabre’s integrated product suite and strong IT expertise will help our airline meet the growing demand as we grow to other markets.”
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication TEATT Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher on Thursday last designated Winair as a national airline of St. Maarten, paving the way for the company to service the St. Maarten-Curacao route with PAWA Dominicana under an ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance) agreement.
The Minister signed the designation for Winair as a national carrier after the Civil Aviation Department, which falls under the Ministry of TEATT, requested the Minister’s approval of the designation. For Winair to be approved by the Curacao Civil Aviation Authority, the airline first had to be officially designated under the Multi-Lateral Protocol for the Liberalization of Air Transport as a national carrier of St. Maarten.
The protocol is signed between the four partners within the Kingdom (St. Maarten, Aruba, Curacao, the Netherlands). It regulates transportation within the kingdom with provisions similar to those found in an air transport agreement.
GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – The authorities have given the all clear, and Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM Airport) is now open.
Temporarily closed roads leading to the airport from Simpson Bay Causeway round-a-bout and from the Maho round-a-bout were re-opened between 4.00pm/4.30pm.
The Emergency Services responded to the threat and dispatched Police, Fire and Ambulances to the SXM Airport where bomb threat protocols were executed.
Also involved in the emergency response were the Airport Security, Airport Fire Department and Airport Ambulance Service.
After the aforementioned services carried out their bomb threat protocol response, the all clear sign was given by local authorities.
Authorities are continuing with their investigation with respect to the bomb threat that was made on Saturday.
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