A ploy that did not fly
March 19th 2008
Caribbean Airlines (CAL) will want the citizenry to believe that its decision to stall the plan to acquire an executive jet was based on the high principle of being determined not to go ahead with the transaction unless the contract included a watertight or, perhaps, more accurately in the context, an airtight anti-corruption clause.
But more citizens will be inclined to take the view, eagerly expressed by Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday, that the State airline’s retreat was a “victory for the people”, meaning those who made known their opposition to what was seen to be another example of the spendthrift ways of a revenue-rich administration whose leader, rather than set an example of fiscal restraint to the nation, was seen to be encouraging its traditional spendthrift ways fuelled, as he continues to be, by the grandiose delusions that often afflict prime ministers and presidents of so-called developing nations.
Full Article : trinidadexpress.com
No jet for Manning
By Andre Bagoo
Wednesday, March 19 2008
THE BID by the Prime Minister Patrick Manning-led Government to acquire an executive jet yesterday crash landed as Caribbean Airlines (CA) announced that it will not go forward with a proposed multi-million dollar luxury jet acquisition with Bombardier.
But there was no sign yesterday that this will be the last Trinidad and Tobago will hear of a jet for the Government as Marianno Browne, the Minister in the Ministry of Finance, and CA defended the faltered deal’s viability and signalled the possibility that if another jet becomes available the Government will support CA in its plans to offer an executive jet service.
“CA…will not be proceeding with the purchase of an executive jet at the present time,” read a release faxed to the media yesterday afternoon.
Full Article : newsday.co.tt
Jet deal crashes
US$65m purchase ‘downed’ by corruption clause
By Gail Alexander
March 19, 2008
Caribbean Airlines’ proposed executive jet initiative has “crashed” after CA confirmed yesterday it will not be proceeding with the purchase of the controversial jet “at this time.”
However, CA—as company chairman Arthur Lok Jack did last week—made it clear it will continue to explore opportunities to establish the executive jet service.
A six-paragraph press release from CA yesterday confirmed the permanent grounding of the US$65 million deal to acquire a luxury Global XRS ultra-long range jet from the Canadian firm of Bombardier .
The main clients for the service were to have been Government Ministers, including the Prime Minister, plus corporate clients and regional leaders.
Both Government—which supported the investment with Cabinet approval three weeks ago—and CA have suffered severe flak from various quarters concerning the idea.
Yesterday, Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert confirmed talks between CA and Bombardier failed to lift off from the negotiating table and were eventually “downed” by the anti-corruption clause which Government wanted in the agreement.
Full Article : guardian.co.tt
Panday credits people for decision
The public must take credit for forcing the government and Caribbean Airlines to abort the “obscene plan to purchase an executive jet” for the use of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday said yesterday.
Responding on Caribbean Airlines decision not to acquire the jet “at this time,” Panday said:
“The government has been forced to back down from this lavish purchase because they could not convince the public that the deal was clean, the purchase necessary and that it was justified, given the prevailing social conditions.”
Panday said the public needed to know the specific details of the anti-corruption clause that CAL and Bombardier could not agree to.
He added: “It is vulgar in its own right that the government, through its agents in Caribbean Airlines, sought to purchase this $300 million jet while citizens cannot afford to buy food, hospitals have no beds and violence takes over our schools.”
Full Article : guardian.co.tt
Jet Deal Off…For Now
The TT$400 million Bombardier jet deal is dead. The executive jet idea is, however, still alive and will return in a different form, probably involving a leasing arrangement.
Mark: UNC-A ‘connecting the dots’
Opposition Senator Wade Mark says now that Caribbean Airlines Ltd’s (CAL) attempted private jet deal has crash landed, the United National Congress Alliance’s (UNC-A) investigation into the matter has only now begun.
…Lok Jack ‘should be fired’ for comments
Opposition Senator Wade Mark says Caribbean Airlines Ltd chairman, Arthur Lok Jack, should be fired for saying that if the money for the carrier’s now failed jet acquisition were returned, this would not mean the immediate acquisition of more hospital beds.