Where is CAL CEO?
Where is CAL CEO?
Tobago Chamber head:
TOURISM Minister Randall Mitchell is hopeful that the entire situation with Caribbean Airlines (CAL) is resolved in the shortest possible time.
“It is our hope that the issues resulting in the cancellation of flights and the disruption to CAL’s schedule are speedily resolved so that travellers’ flights will be rescheduled with the least inconvenience possible,” Mitchell said.
This comes on the heels of Caribbean Airlines flights having to be cancelled on the domestic, regional and international routes on Sunday following pilots calling in sick.
And as flights slowly returned to the skies, the Division of Tourism at the Tobago House of Assembly in a statement said it remains in active communication with Caribbean Airlines and is eagerly awaiting official communication regarding the anticipated timeline for the resumption of regular flight operations.
“We understand the frustration and challenges these disruptions have caused for travel plans, and we extend our understanding and support to all those affected. The disruptions have impacted domestic and international services, and we are cognisant of the far-reaching implications on our community,” the Division stated.
“In the face of these unforeseen circumstances, we commend the dedicated and hard-working staff of both the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago and the Airport Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. Their unwavering commitment to service and their exceptional understanding of the circumstances have been integral in mitigating the effects of this interruption,” it stated.
Head of the Tobago Business Chamber Martin George slammed Caribbean Airlines for its “continued mismanagement”, which he said is having a negative effect on the economy.
In a statement yesterday, George posited that CAL’s chief executive office Garvin Madera should have come forward and “face the music” amid the impasse.
CAL issued a statement yesterday apologising to passengers for the disruption, which it explained was as a result of 93 pilots calling in sick just before they were scheduled to report for duty.
“Where is the CEO of Caribbean Airlines? Why isn’t he coming forward and issuing a statement on this debacle? When any such situation occurs internationally, you will see the CEO of any major airline come forth and face the music and give some sort of accountability and transparency to the process,” George said yesterday.
“Why are we not hearing from the Government on the Cal-amity,” he added.
He said the Tobago Business Chamber condemned “in the strongest possible way” the recent action with CAL.
“It may be that they had their legitimate grouses and reasons for wanting to take some type of action. And it cannot be that CAL as an organisation is seeking to expand into territories and areas, create new routes, such as St Kitts, Caracas, St Maarten, and you are saying you face resource constraints. The two are incongruous. It’s either you have the resources to do so and to do so successfully or you don’t,” George said.
“You cannot have your existing routes suffering because of resource constraints and then saying you are expanding into new areas. We are saying that you must take care of home first. The Tobago route has been something that has been a bugbear for travellers for years and it has gotten worse and there seems to be no improvement, no reliability that you can have with Caribbean Airlines and simple travel for a 15 minute flight between Trinidad and Tobago,” he stated.
“We’ve seen that as a result of yesterday’s debacle, persons saying that they don’t want to come back to Tobago at all. Why should Tobago be suffering as a result of that? Why should Trinidad be suffering as a result of this? Why should Trinbagonians or international visitors be suffering as a result of this? This is clearly mismanagement and poor practices at Caribbean Airlines and it is something that the Government has to take responsibility for because CAL is owned by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago,” George added.
The People’s National Movement’s Tobago Council also weighed in on the issue.
“The recent cancellations have caused significant inconvenience to Tobagonians by disrupting the movement of people between our islands, causing deleterious impacts to the local economy,” it said in a statement.
“It is imperative that a swift resolution is reached to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are upheld. We believe that open and productive dialogue is crucial to finding a fair and equitable solution that safeguards the public’s interest,” the Tobago Council stated.
The group went on to call on CAL and pilots to prioritise the well-being of the travelling public, the tourism sector, and the broader economy.
“We emphasise the need for a swift resolution that not only addresses the immediate concerns but also establishes a foundation for future collaboration and understanding,” it said.
By: Leah Sorias