Mike Henry, the Jamaican Minister of Transport and Works, no longer has portfolio responsibility for Air Jamaica, which has been moved from his portfolio to the Ministry of Finance.
Reports reaching The Gleaner are that Don Wehby, Minister without Portfolio in the Finance Ministry, has been given responsibility for the national carrier.
Mr. Henry confirmed he received a letter from Prime Minister Bruce Golding on Monday stating that the portfolio now falls under the Finance Ministry.
“It is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to move a portfolio from one ministry to another,” was Mr. Henry’s terse reply to The Gleaner.
Opting not to comment further, he said he has since written to the Prime Minister.
Mr. Henry had been embroiled in a bitter row with executives of Virgin Atlantic regarding the sale of the Air Jamaica slots at the London Heathrow airport by the former Government. He is also not pleased with the code-share agreement between the two airlines.
Henry objected openly to the union by refusing to attend the ceremony for the inaugural flight at the Norman Manley International Airport last week Tuesday. The following day, he told The Gleaner that Air Jamaica and the country had been given a raw deal with “junk” slots as the exchange.
He demanded that three of the seven positions that Virgin now holds at Heathrow International be turned over to transport passengers to Jamaica.
Air Jamaica fell under the portfolio of the Ministry of Finance during the People’s National Party administration.