Like a corporate raider in the night the PNM came back into power with its sights firmly locked on the national carrier and the old adage about the sum of the parts being worth more than the whole buzzing in their ears louder than an old refrigerator.
In his previous incarnation as Prime Minister, Patrick Manning attempted to privatize BWIA and a minority stake in the national airline was offered up for sale to the public and much of its assets went on sale as a result of 'restructuring'. (In fact one bright idea was to sell its fleet of planes and to LEASE THEM BACK at above market rates!).
Now in his second coming, the Manning Adminstration not only betrayed the TRUST of its minority shareholders but of a proud nation on the whole by disbanding BWIA altogether and reforming it as Caribbean Airlines.
Not only did they 'dispose' of the airline's assets, the PNM practically gave away the highly prized slots at Heathrow in England (This one hurts whenever I think of it). To add further insult - former BWIA employees are still awaiting word on their pensions. Some even on their VSEP. And minority shareholders to date have found little recourse from the GORTT or the courts.
And while the new airline has struggled (we assume - given the state of the industry internationally) to register legitimate (we assume - given the penchant for the Government to put subsidies through as unusual income whenever Financial Statements are prepared and laid in Parliament) profits, its ex-employees, shareholders, and pensioners are still waiting. And the airline faces a fresh new challenge in that its Code-Sharing agreement with British Airways will soon expire and in the challenge of an arrogant Government for it to 'purchase' Air Jamaica.
But in Sweet T&T its so easy to forget when we are not the ones affected.
Time to grow a pair everyone and VOTE DEM OUT!
Postscript: It would appear that CAL / GORTT will now sink $300M into the operations of Air Jamaica. In exchange for which we will gain access to routes that we already have and also have the distinct pleasure of the Jamaican government owning one-sixth of OUR national airline. Great negotiating guys!