Above: Tobago (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Tobago House of Assembly says it wants a “separate airline” to service the Trinidad-Tobago airbridge.
THA Chief Secretary Orville London raised the issue during a 2015 budget consultation last week.
“I think that one of the issues we did get traction from the Minister of Finance was the delinking of the Trinidad to Tobago airbridge from Caribbean Airlines,” London said. “Our position is that we are in fact in the present system mixing two types of operations which are incompatible.”
London said he was convinced that “if we have an efficient airbridge there will be tens of millions worth in benefit to the tourism sector.”
“”We are asking Caribbean Airlines to make a profit but on the other hand we are accepting the fact that the Trinidad to Tobago airbridge has to be subsidized,” he said. “We are saying that this situation is untenable, it is unworkable and it will create problems for the central government and of course the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”
London’s recommendation was that “we return to a more efficient arrangement which would entail that we have a separate airline running the bridge between Trinidad and Tobago where we could deal with all the nuances, we could determine what level of subsidy, we could determine what is the best type of airplane and we can ensure that it achieve the objective with respect to bringing people between the two islands.”
London said he was “heartened” by the response of Trinidad’s Finance Minister and by Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz, with whom he met earlier this month.