Stewart says novices running Air Ja

Chairman of Air Jamaica Acquisition Group Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, has described as inaccurate, the projected losses of Air Jamaica for the 12-month period ending December 2005.

Speaking on ‘Independent Talk’ on Power 106 last week, Air Jamaica’s current chairman, O.K. Melhado, said the company’s losses this year would be similar to that of last year.

He also said Air Jamaica would be seeking to improve its flying hours from eight to 12 hours in order to boost profitability.

But according to Mr. Stewart, Air Jamaica will in fact record this year its greatest loss of $9 billion.

“Seat for seat it will lose twice the amount than we (Air Jamaica Acquisition Group) lost when we ran it in our worst year,” said Mr. Stewart.

Speaking with reporters in Mammee Bay, St. Ann, yesterday, Mr. Stewart charged that Air Jamaica’s plan for increased flying hours will not be enough to rescue the debt-ridden national airline.

“Air Jamaica has been hacked down by novices who don’t know what they are doing,” he said. “When you have novices running a serious airline, an airline will teach how to lose money.”

Mr. Stewart has also accused the current management of Air Jamaica of being less transparent than AJAG was for the 10 years it managed Air Jamaica.

“They have not reported accurately the money they have lost, the reasons their on-time has deteriorated to such an extent and the reasons why they have lost the support of the visitor traffic and our nationals,” he claimed.

Last December, the Government regained majority control of the national airline from the Butch Stewart-led AJAG.

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