Categorized | News, Regional

Final agreement for Air Jamaica CAL merger signed

By Alecia Smith

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — As the transition period for the merger of Air Jamaica Limited (AJL) and Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) draws to a close, a shareholder’s agreement was expected to be signed on Saturday, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw disclosed.

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw

In his Budget Debate presentation in Parliament on Thursday, the finance minister noted that the one-year transition period, which began May 1, 2010, was necessary to ensure that control of AJL’s operations was successfully transferred to CAL, while allowing the time necessary for the Trinidad and Tobago-based company to secure the necessary licences and properly integrate the operations.

“As of today, we have so far had a successful operation, and CAL has secured the rights to fly from Jamaica to North America, and has made significant progress in integrating both operations into one, while maintaining the strong Air Jamaica brand,” Shaw said.

He noted that the impending merger has been beneficial to the country as there has not been any disruption to airlift capacity, and the government has avoided accruing additional losses from Air Jamaica.

Shaw further noted that the government also received a refund of some US$2.4 million on external payables “based on the fact that we made efforts to liquidate expeditiously.”

“It should be noted that last fiscal year, the government budgeted US$204.3 million (J$17.6 billion) to pay out certain external payables, and we paid out only US$163 million (J$14.1 billion). We were therefore able to apply the difference to pay off a long-term loan and thereby save hundreds of thousands of US dollars in interest payments,” he noted.

Shaw added that, by the end of April 2011, the government would have returned four of the six leased aircraft, based on negotiated early returns, which has saved the country significant future liabilities.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Alecia Smith

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — As the transition period for the merger of Air Jamaica Limited (AJL) and Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) draws to a close, a shareholder’s agreement was expected to be signed on Saturday, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw disclosed.

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw

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In his Budget Debate presentation in Parliament on Thursday, the finance minister noted that the one-year transition period, which began May 1, 2010, was necessary to ensure that control of AJL’s operations was successfully transferred to CAL, while allowing the time necessary for the Trinidad and Tobago-based company to secure the necessary licences and properly integrate the operations.

“As of today, we have so far had a successful operation, and CAL has secured the rights to fly from Jamaica to North America, and has made significant progress in integrating both operations into one, while maintaining the strong Air Jamaica brand,” Shaw said.

He noted that the impending merger has been beneficial to the country as there has not been any disruption to airlift capacity, and the government has avoided accruing additional losses from Air Jamaica.

Shaw further noted that the government also received a refund of some US$2.4 million on external payables “based on the fact that we made efforts to liquidate expeditiously.”

“It should be noted that last fiscal year, the government budgeted US$204.3 million (J$17.6 billion) to pay out certain external payables, and we paid out only US$163 million (J$14.1 billion). We were therefore able to apply the difference to pay off a long-term loan and thereby save hundreds of thousands of US dollars in interest payments,” he noted.

Shaw added that, by the end of April 2011, the government would have returned four of the six leased aircraft, based on negotiated early returns, which has saved the country significant future liabilities.