Caribbean airlines officials discuss safer, more efficient transportation

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Saturday February 15, 2014, CMC – Efforts to get state-owned air carriers within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to collaborate on providing more efficient, effective and safe transportation in the region have been discussed.

A CARICOM Secretariat statement said the second meeting of the regional airlines was held in Guyana last week and attended by representatives from the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines (CAL), the Antigua-based LIAT, Surinam Airways and Bahamas Airlines.

The Secretariat said the meeting was “to advance discussions that began on 23 January, 2014 (and) preceded inaugural deliberations of the Transportation Commission” held on Thursday.

The statement said that the interaction of regional air carriers in January identified the procurement of equipment, training of personnel, scheduling of flights, and maintenance of aircraft, as some of the areas where cooperation was possible.

“The meeting agreed that while CAL and LIAT collaborated at the technical level, interaction at the corporate level would prove useful in cementing and increasing collaboration and improving efficiencies. “To this end, the acting CEOs of the two airlines met on 31 January and advanced concrete ways of collaboration in the areas identified,” the statement said, adding that the outcome of that meeting was shares with the other regional airlines this week.

The statement quoted CARICOM Secretary-General, Irwin LaRocque, as expressing his appreciation to the airlines for so willingly making themselves available for interaction and assured them of the Secretariat’s commitment to facilitate such engagements.

He reminded the airlines representatives that the area in which they operate was a critical component in the success of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and the development of the Community as a whole.

He said CARICOM chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves was very encouraged by the efforts that were being pursued on the transportation front and looked forward to greater collaboration among the airlines and consequently an improvement in service to the travelling public.