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Tuesday 14 August 2018
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Tobago

Civil Aviation Authority in dark over new airline

KINNESHA GEORGE-HARRY

The head of a new airline says it’s preparing to start flying the airbridge route within a few weeks.

So far, however, the authorities appear to be in the dark about this plan

The airline, called Tobago Airways, is expected to be launched soon, as a countdown has been introduced on its website, tobagoairways.com, which indicates that “something new and exciting is coming.”

On Tuesday, directors of the new airline met in a closed-door meeting at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort in Lowlands. Afterwards, Newsday spoke to the CEO of the airline, Raymond McMillan, who said it should be launched in about a month.

“We are going through the process of finalising the necessary approvals and ensuring that we meet all the necessary requirements. We are waiting on the Civil Aviation Authority to come back, and that is why we want to keep it a bit quiet until they come back.

When they come back and say yes, we have met the criteria, we would do an official launch and tell persons more on the venture,” he said. McMillan said he was an insurance agent from the village of Bon Accord, Tobago.

He said initially two aircraft will be put into service, both of which have already been sourced, and the initial contract will be with Airline Solutions Ltd, a company registered in the United Kingdom.

“We have two Jetstreams that would be used to ply the route, Jetstream 41 aircraft.

“So right now, we are at the stage of the Civil Aviation, where we are talking with them to get all the approvals.

“That is the final stage and once we get that approved, we are up and ready to go,” he said.

However, contacted for comment, communications officer at the Airports Authority Zola Joseph said the authority has not had any application for an operating agreement with any such company.

In an e-mail response, Joseph said: “Any airline seeking an operating agreement would first be required to show evidence of having obtained an air operators certificate and other approvals from the TT Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA).”

The release also said to date, the authority has not seen evidence that an entity called Tobago Airways has received the requisite approvals from TTCAA.

“The TTCAA would be in a better position to comment on whether any of the approvals under its purview have been issued to Tobago Airways,” it said.

Director of the TTCAA Francis Regis said, “We have no application for the operation of any such company.”

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