T&T chided on CAL subsidy

RICKY JORDAN,

Added 01 November 2012

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CARICOM CHAIRMAN Dr Kenny Anthony has blasted Trinidad and Tobago for ignoring the burning concerns of its trading partners, especially in relation to air travel. Speaking at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s monthly luncheon at Hilton Barbados yesterday, he said it could not be justifiable that the twin-island’s airline, Caribbean Airlines, was subsidized by cheaper fuel while competing with cash-strapped LIAT on intraregional routes. “We must look past origin and ownership to the necessary rationalization of the regional air transport network. This can only be for the greater good, lest while we fiddle, home burns. The Caribbean is currently suffering from an abundance of tourism products and exorbitant air travel costs . . .  Can Caribbean governments get together and at least find a mechanism to reduce the taxes that make air travel so expensive for our people?” he asked. Anthony said while components of those costs were market-driven, there were deficiencies in the system that were literally keeping the region’s people apart and making Caribbean destinations more expensive to reach than major North American cities.

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