Report: Prime Minister Calls Air Jamaica "Too Costly"

Caribbean Airlines officially took over Air Jamaica Saturday, but before it did, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, issued a statement Friday calling Air Jamaica “too costly.”

The Jamaica Information Service reported that on the eve of Air Jamaica's transition from a national airline to becoming part of the regional carrier, Caribbean Airlines, Golding extended "sincere and heartfelt appreciation" to those who served the airline over its 40 years of existence.

He said that for 40 years "it was an act of daring" for a small country like Jamaica to conceive of creating a national airline.

However, he pointed out that pride came at a huge cost - $126 billion over the 40 years and $31 billion over the last three years alone - as among other things, the international airline industry has come under tremendous pressure from rising costs and intense competition.

He said that the government has had to take the regrettable, but inevitable, decision that it could no longer provide the financial support required to keep Air Jamaica flying. But, he noted that Jamaica has been fortunate to be able to transfer majority ownership to a regional carrier, which will operate the routes that are of the greatest importance to Jamaicans and tourists.

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