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Caribbean Airlines considering picking up routes in SVG

Caribbean Airlines considering picking up routes in SVG

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With the possibility of Caribbean Airlines (CAL) picking up routes in St Vincent and the Grenadines on the horizon, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has declared that he does not oppose the idea.{{more}}

During a press conference on Wednesday, Gonsalves revealed that CAL was considering taking up routes in this country.

“I was advised that CAL has made a preliminary indication that… they want to come on our routes here,” the Prime Minister said, while indicating that nothing has been finalized as yet.

Gonsalves, who is also the chairman of the LIAT shareholder governments, stressed that there is absolutely no opposition from him, as it relates to CAL operating in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“We abide by the Multilateral Air Services agreement of CARICOM which we signed in 1997. It is now being amended for updating,” he said. “In that same agreement, however, it says that you must have fair competition, which means we mustn’t have unlawful subsidies, you mustn’t have the mimicking of schedules, and you mustn’t have predatory pricing.”

According to Gonsalves, there are items in the agreement that will prevent unfair competition and so he has never had any problem with an airline operating in LIAT’s space.

Furthermore, the Vincentian Prime Minister outlined the benefits that could be derived from the possibility of CAL offering routes to St Vincent.

“If CAL brings a lot of passengers from Trinidad to St Vincent, if they create additional demand…and it’s more convenient, it doesn’t mean that they are going to take our passengers,” Gonsalves explained. “They will bring greater demand to the market place. They can create their own demand. So, the hoteliers will be laughing their way to the bank, more workers will be hired, I get 10 per cent VAT on the rooms, on the food and the drink, so I could fix up the schools them better.”

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