CAL debt House topic

Cayman Airways has to get to grips with the ‘clear and disturbing trend’ shown in its financial figures, Minister Charles Clifford told the Legislative Assembly.

‘Each year the company’s liabilities continue to exceed its assets resulting in ever increasing debt,’ he said.

In a statement, he told the House he had ordered an efficiency audit on the airline to make sure that the best use of resources was being made and all possible savings were being realised.

Mr. Clifford laid CAL’s accounts covering the year ending December 2001 and the 18 month period up to the end of June 2003 on the table in the House.

‘At 30 June 2003, the company’s total liabilities exceeded total assets by US$32.3 million in comparison to 2001 when that amount was US$22.1 million,’ said Mr. Clifford.

‘The current liabilities exceeded its current assets by US$22.4 million in 2003 as compared to US$15.5 million in 2001,’ he added.

Looking at the figures for the 18 month period ending 30 June 2003, Mr. Clifford said the airline lost US$10.1 million after a US$7.1 million subsidy.

He said that for the 12 month period ending 31 December 2001, the airline lost US$14.6 million after a US$5.4 million subsidy.

Revenue was US$36.6 million, a decrease of US$4.6 million or 11% from the previous year but the effect of the decline in revenue was offset by a reduction in operating expenses of US$4.7 million.

It was pointed out that that year’s figures had been affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks, which had caused a decline in demand for air travel.

Mr. Clifford said he believed that Cayman Airways played a vital role in the Cayman Islands economy and tourism industry and that he wanted to underscore his party’s commitment to it.

‘However, the financials for Cayman Airways signal clear reasons why we must address efficiency issues head on,’ he told the House.

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