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Thursday, December 30, 2010

CARICOM Airways to comply Kenny asks of Chastenet

Thursday, 30 December 2010 04:31 cmc

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC—Opposition Leader Dr. Kenny Anthony Wednesday called on Tourism Minister Allen Chastanet to encourage the owners of the St. Lucia based  CARICOM Airways to comply with the requirements of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) before seeking to expand its operations in the region.

Anthony was reacting to the decision of the ECCAA ordering the Suriname owned carrier to immediately discontinue its operations within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) deeming it illegal.

Chastanet has said that while he is aware of the ECCAA ruling, he is not yet prepared to make a public statement.

“The St. Lucia Labour Party notes that the ECCAA has declared that the contentious CARICOM Airways is operating illegally has consequently has grounded the airline preventing it from flying in the region until it can meet the standards required by the ECCAA,” Anthony said.

“While the SLP welcomes competition in the airline industry and increased airlift, this must never be at the expense of safety and good commercial practices.

“We therefore call on Senator Allen Chastanet to encourage CARICOM Airways to get its house in order,” he added.

But Chastanet had in response to a statement by St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves denied that the carrier was operating illegally.

Chastanet had also given the St. Vincent and the Grenadines government an ultimatum that unless it responds to an application that would allow CARICOM Airways operate a schedule flight into the island, Castries  would stop two St. Vincent-based airlines - SVG Air and Mustique Airways - from operating in St. Lucia.

Chastanet said that CARICOM Airways was operating under the Airline Operation Convention (AOC) from Suriname, which under the CARICOM Convention, allows member countries to accept each other’s AOC.

But in a letter dated December 20, and addressed to SRM Chin-A-Kwie, Chief Executive officer of Caribbean Commuter Airways N.V., the ECCAA said that even though CARICOM Airways had been granted an AOC from the Civil Aviation Authority of Suriname, the information available to the ECCAA indicates that CARICOM Airways’ principal place of business is St. Lucia.

“As such and by virtue of the Civil Aviation Regulations of St. Lucia, CARICOM Airways must apply for and obtain an AOC issued by the ECCAA before commencing commercial air transport operations,” noted the letter signed by the ECCCA Acting Director General Donald McPhail.

The SLP leader said that sadly, yet again that Chastanet has shown up publicly and chastised by a regional institution.

“We therefore urge Prime Minister King to take control of his Cabinet to avoid further embarrassment to the people of this country,” Anthony said.


  1. Keep up the good work Kenny! We are proud of you, noble Choiseulian. Your combined gifts of logic, analysis and articulation are a rarity. We in Choiseul love you!

    Did you hear the AG commenting on the outcome of the meeting with ECCAA? He gave the impression he has reversed the ECCAA decision?

    Time will tell!

  2. Our local media houses are giving mixed and even conflicting information regarding St. Lucia's pursuit of the Caricom Airways matter. Yesterday, on of the media houses (HTS)suggested the Ag had successfully resolved the issue with the ECCAA. Today, RSL was more cautious and instead reported that the AG said that the ECCAA had acted hastily and that he was standing on Chastanet side - as if he had a choice. I suspect this Lorenzo fellah will turn out to be worse than his predecessor!

    a lot of our politicians and their media sycophants seem to subscribe to a view that St. Lucians are fools; and as a result, they throw garbage down our throats and expect us to swallow foolishly.

    Powerhouse, you are doing a great job and in opening our eyes. Thank you and a happy new year.