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The Access Saga! No solution yet to the current access break-down!

The problem now – passengers unable to get flights particularly out of Montserrat
Is DFID, and a ‘fully’ supported airline really curtailing real solutions!

svg airlinesFollowing the break-down of attempts to secure ferry operations into and out of Montserrat when the passengers gathered at Little Bay port ready to travel to Antigua. It was a normal morning. They would soon learn that the ferry will not sail and according to the information at the time, the captain had said he would not sail until he had an agreement/contract.

The ferry contract had expired the previous day and there wasn’t a new one in place.

That was the story and by late evening there was much revelation as to how it happened.

TMR had learnt at the time and as we reported that there was much to be investigated including, that there was a deliberate attempt to frustrate the Premier/government into having to rush the signing of/the authorization of a contract under the pressure as had just developed.

The Premier never ready to pass blame, silent on the facts leading to that confusion, informed that he was dealing with the problem since the evening before.

See: www.themontserratreporter.com: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/the-ferry-contract-fiasco/, https://www.themontserratreporter.com/ferry-impasse-fiasco/; https://www.themontserratreporter.com/premiers-office-release-on-ferry-transportation-facilitated-by-airlines/;

Since then there has been arrangements for passengers and cargo to move between Montserrat and Antigua. But quite soon there would be cries of economic hardships and finally the cry that ‘many’ people did not wish to travel at all since all that was available was islander flights into or out of John Osborne airport.FlyMontserrat-arrives-38

The Premier upon finally receiving a report (from 2003-2016), “Brief History and Summary of the Operations in Montserrat of Caribe Transport Ltd. And M&M Transportation Services Ltd.” Eventually moved to do what they along with DFID had been asking the Ministry of Communications to conduct, obtain and new contract since September 2015. In the process the access operations of was transferred to the responsibility of the Premier’s office. There were at least 8 updates of the access movements of people, cargo (mail included which has been a confused source of frustration even with the ferry in operation.)

More detailed background is shown and available either in back copies of TMR publications or online as shown above.

Eventually, on Wednesday this week, Premier Romeo said although no contract has been awarded, his government is in close dialog with the DFID to chart the way forward.

“A procurement for ferry began in the meantime and following frustrations of one kind or another, the Premier issued a Statement which he spoke to last week. “The procurement process for a ferry came to an end on Friday August 5th, 2016 that’s last week. On Monday 8th August a formal decision was communicated to me in writing. It stated that the process ended in a unanimous vote, that no award be made, for the past four months everybody knows that the government of Montserrat has been patient. Follow the rules, and waited on an outcome for many months we have taken a lot of heat from the public, yet we agreed to respect the process while at the same time, we prepared ourselves for various outcomes. In the last 24 hours we have outlined to DFID our plans for a way forward which is in keeping with the laws of Montserrat and can provide a solution in the short term. In a few days I will communicate with the public on the progress towards a solution.”

All the signs are there that DFID may well be waiting for a real case of the access needs for Montserrat. So the question well thinking observers are asking, “what is the case being put forward?” All this amidst rumours that DFID is trying to impose the failed air service that has continued to fail Montserrat.

Questions regarding the air service which today has been denying passengers timely flights into and out of Montserrat, remain unanswered, while it is observed that a twin otter service will solve much of the problems. The big question Montserrat Airways which it can be said has been fully funded by the Government one way or the other seems not to be able to meet the current demand, and unconfirmed reports suggest that efforts to obtain twin otter services which have been reportedly successfully investigated since December 2014 are being thwarted by the said airline with support from DFID.

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The problem now – passengers unable to get flights particularly out of Montserrat
Is DFID, and a ‘fully’ supported airline really curtailing real solutions!

svg airlinesFollowing the break-down of attempts to secure ferry operations into and out of Montserrat when the passengers gathered at Little Bay port ready to travel to Antigua. It was a normal morning. They would soon learn that the ferry will not sail and according to the information at the time, the captain had said he would not sail until he had an agreement/contract.

The ferry contract had expired the previous day and there wasn’t a new one in place.

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That was the story and by late evening there was much revelation as to how it happened.

TMR had learnt at the time and as we reported that there was much to be investigated including, that there was a deliberate attempt to frustrate the Premier/government into having to rush the signing of/the authorization of a contract under the pressure as had just developed.

The Premier never ready to pass blame, silent on the facts leading to that confusion, informed that he was dealing with the problem since the evening before.

See: www.themontserratreporter.com: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/the-ferry-contract-fiasco/, https://www.themontserratreporter.com/ferry-impasse-fiasco/; https://www.themontserratreporter.com/premiers-office-release-on-ferry-transportation-facilitated-by-airlines/;

Since then there has been arrangements for passengers and cargo to move between Montserrat and Antigua. But quite soon there would be cries of economic hardships and finally the cry that ‘many’ people did not wish to travel at all since all that was available was islander flights into or out of John Osborne airport.FlyMontserrat-arrives-38

The Premier upon finally receiving a report (from 2003-2016), “Brief History and Summary of the Operations in Montserrat of Caribe Transport Ltd. And M&M Transportation Services Ltd.” Eventually moved to do what they along with DFID had been asking the Ministry of Communications to conduct, obtain and new contract since September 2015. In the process the access operations of was transferred to the responsibility of the Premier’s office. There were at least 8 updates of the access movements of people, cargo (mail included which has been a confused source of frustration even with the ferry in operation.)

More detailed background is shown and available either in back copies of TMR publications or online as shown above.

Eventually, on Wednesday this week, Premier Romeo said although no contract has been awarded, his government is in close dialog with the DFID to chart the way forward.

“A procurement for ferry began in the meantime and following frustrations of one kind or another, the Premier issued a Statement which he spoke to last week. “The procurement process for a ferry came to an end on Friday August 5th, 2016 that’s last week. On Monday 8th August a formal decision was communicated to me in writing. It stated that the process ended in a unanimous vote, that no award be made, for the past four months everybody knows that the government of Montserrat has been patient. Follow the rules, and waited on an outcome for many months we have taken a lot of heat from the public, yet we agreed to respect the process while at the same time, we prepared ourselves for various outcomes. In the last 24 hours we have outlined to DFID our plans for a way forward which is in keeping with the laws of Montserrat and can provide a solution in the short term. In a few days I will communicate with the public on the progress towards a solution.”

All the signs are there that DFID may well be waiting for a real case of the access needs for Montserrat. So the question well thinking observers are asking, “what is the case being put forward?” All this amidst rumours that DFID is trying to impose the failed air service that has continued to fail Montserrat.

Questions regarding the air service which today has been denying passengers timely flights into and out of Montserrat, remain unanswered, while it is observed that a twin otter service will solve much of the problems. The big question Montserrat Airways which it can be said has been fully funded by the Government one way or the other seems not to be able to meet the current demand, and unconfirmed reports suggest that efforts to obtain twin otter services which have been reportedly successfully investigated since December 2014 are being thwarted by the said airline with support from DFID.