12-Feb-2010 1:19 PM

Air Jamaica sale to Caribbean Airlines a step closer?

Jamaican President, Bruce Golding, reportedly signed a non-binding LoI with Caribbean Airlines, regarding the potential merger or sale of Air Jamaica to the carrier from Trinidad and Tobago (Newsday, 11-Feb-2010). However, there have also been reports that a final decision will not be made public prior to 01-Apr-2010. Air Jamaica reported a loss of USD90 million in 2009, and has debt levels of USD900 million. Meanwhile, Air Jamaica President, Bruce Nobles, stated efforts by the Jamaican Government to sell two aircraft to pay off debts to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have been unsuccessful (Jamaica Observer, 11-Feb-2010).

Air Jamaica: "We have the airplanes on the market for USD17 million apiece. They have been on the market since Summer of last year. We've been scouting but not finding anyone willing to pay that much for the aircraft," Bruce Nobles, President. Source: Jamaica Observer, 11-Feb-2010.

Jamaican Government: "We owe a lot of money. We have had to use diplomatic channels to avoid our planes being seized for non-payment of fees owed to the Government of the United States. It is proposed to dispose of those two aircraft in order to discharge that obligation," Bruce Golding, Prime Minister. Source: Jamaica Observer, 11-Feb-2010.