Chairman of the Tobago Business Chamber, Martin George, says the continued mismanagement at Caribbean Airlines (CAL) is to blame for the recent chaos on the domestic and international airbridge.
George, in a Newsday interview, said the pilots may have legitimate grudges and reasons for wanting to take sick out action. However, he said CAL as an airline is seeking to expand into territories and areas and create new routes, yet saying it faced “resource constraints.”
“The two are incongruous – it’s either you have the resources to do so and to do so successfully, or you don’t. You cannot have your existing routes suffering because of resource constraints and then say that you are expanding into new areas.”
He said CAL needed to take care of home first.
“The Tobago route has been something that has been a bugbear for travellers for years, and it has gotten worse, and there seems to be no improvement, no reliability that you can have with CAL and simple travel for a 15-minute flight between Trinidad and Tobago.”
He pointed out that after Sunday’s events, travellers were quoted as saying they were no longer interested in Tobago.
He questioned why Tobago and by extension citizens or even international visitors should suffer as a result of the situation.
“This is clearly mismanagement and poor practices at CAL and something that the government has to take responsibility for because CAL is owned by the government. We ought to see better management occurring with this airline, and better deployment of resources so we can have some level of efficiency, effectiveness and reliability in the transfer and transport of people between Trinidad and Tobago or between Trinidad and other areas.
He said this must be managed properly, “rather than engaging in flights of fancy.
“Let’s be realistic, let’s be practical and let’s remember that charity begins at home.
“So you need to take care of your home-grown customer base, you need to take care of your citizens – the ones who have been so faithful and loyal to you over the years – before you engage in all sorts of forays into new ventures, sponsorship, deals, wasting billions and billions of dollars over the years, with no appreciable benefit or return – and yet still you cannot get the basic function done.”