Jamaica lost US$61 million for the first five months of
this year, as the government, which has been running the
airline since December, struggles to shrink it into viability,
in line with its strategic master plan.
The loss during the five months, represents an acceleration
of the haemorrhaging that took place when the company was
in private handsthough the new management says the
bleeding will be curbed once the recent cost containment
measures begin to take effect.
Air Jamaicas executive chairman, Dr Vin Lawrence,
told the Business Observer that operating deficit of US$36
million had been budgeted for the first six months of this
year. But unforeseen disruption of services, caused primarily
by an increase in the frequency of major maintenance, and
route restructuring, had added another US$25 million in
Lawrence, speaking through the airlines public relations
director, Sandra Falconer said that a requirement earlier
this year, for Air Jamaica to carry out major maintenance
once every 15 months, rather than 18 months as was the practice
for years, had forced the company to shut down services
in a way that had not been programmed.
The maintenance schedule was dictated by the Civil Aviation
Authority, as part of its mandate and effort to engender
safety at the airline.