Pilar sacked from CAL board

| 05/11/2012

Pilar-Bush.jpg(CNS): Despite the failure of any government official to officially inform Pilar Bush that she has been sacked from the Cayman Airways board, the chief officer in the tourism ministry confirmed Monday that Philip Rankin has been given the chairmanship of the airline’s board of directors. The former chair, who has also held the post of deputy chair, told CNS Monday that although she was well aware of her removal, she had received no correspondence from Premier McKeeva Bush or anyone in government informing her that she had not only been replaced as chair but completely ousted from the board.

“I have yet to receive any official communication from the premier, the ministry or Cabinet, but I was made aware of my replacement as chair and my former position of deputy chair last week,” Pilar Bush said. “On same day I advised the rest of the board and removed myself from any CAL related matters. This approach to managing boards is characteristic of Mr Bush and although it is disappointing it is not surprising and a consequence when people disagree with the premier.”

While Rankin is now chair of the national flag carrier’s board, sitting members George Hunter and Anthony Akiwumi have been appointed deputies and Rafael Elias, a local Chartered Accountant, has been appointed as a new Member of the Board.

“The Ministry congratulates the new and sitting Members of the Board and applauds their willingness to serve in their new respective capacities,” a release from the ministry’s Chief Officer Stran Bodden stated.

There were no thanks or comments regarding the removal of Bush, who has served for the past three years.

Although the reasons for Pilar Bush’s removal have not been confirmed, sources close to the issue stated that she had given advice to Cabinet regarding the MOU which the premier signed while in Manila with San Miguel, the company which owns a major share in Philippines Airlines.

Related article on CNS Business:

Mac signs deal in Manila (31 October 2012)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A deal with a Phillipine carrier can be a potential disaster for the islands and the airline, it is no sercet that they have a terrible safety record and is a unreliable and shady airline.  I hope the persons responsible for ensuring that the proper checks and research is carried out carefully.



  2. Anonymous says:

    Lets see Pilar and Tara Rivers team up with two more educated West Bay women and introduce a new ray of hope for Cayman politics.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is all about how the fish head is shared.

  4. Naya Boy says:

    Those who prop up regimes are usual crushed by the weight the regime's oppression

  5. Anonymous says:

    18:08 Yes Ms Cora is a nice person but anyone that knows her knows that she is one of  McKeeva's big supporters we said we want change not a side kick that pertends not to be with them.

    • Anonymous says:

      08:29. Ah tell ya one ting, I've never heard Ms. Cora pretend to be other than who she is: honest, hard working, hater of BS, fair minded, generous, a fighter for Caymanians and proud to be a Caymanian woman and West Bayer.

      She will also tell you that she is a UDP supporter, she won't hide that from u, because that how she rolls; but I can tell you one ting, she does not always  agree with everything that goies on in the UDP party and has her own opinions about how certain tings should be done.

      If she was to run independent, UDP or PPM nobody will tell her what to do or say, or make decsions for her and make her look bad or like an idiot .

      The UDP need to make an effort to put a decent woman on their ballot since the men seem to be messing up everything from politics to family.

      A good woman might make some of them see some sense and Ms. Cora won't be intimidated by thier loud mouths, coz hers can be loud too. Hope its true that shes running coz she got my vote.


  6. Truth says:

    This just proves you were the right person for the job.  Competent, moral, experianced, and hard working.  May your next job and boss deserve you.  Any chance you are now free to Run for Office?

  7. Knot S Smart says:

    Mr Dart is a very smart man for having the foresight to close off the West Bay road and to build bridges.

    Maybe he realizes that in the future we will just have to lock the bridge to shut them all off from the rest of Cayman…

    Oh no. I should not have said that. Now Mac will use our money to set up a tv station in West Bay so he can continue to bombard theairwaves with UDP nonsense…

  8. Anonymous says:

    One of keke own he destroyed! I thought you said in westbay income tax meeting “you cannot fire people” what do you call this keke? You & UDP will get fired May 2013!


    • Anonymous says:

      The current CEO of CAL has no previous experience of running an airline, he is just a political appointee like everyone else in government.  If a private investor is going to invest in CAL they will want control over it.  It makes no sense for someone to invest millions in a loss making company if they do not have the power to fire the incompetence that is rife

  9. Anonymous says:

    A deal with Philippine Airlines may be the way forward if if removes CAL from the government's books. I understand CAL is a serious loss maker (can we see the last 5 years results and assets CNS?). The deal could bring in some profesionals to correctly manage the business and remove a finnancial burden from Cayman. Ensure local staff are kept and trained: add value. If the deal allows Phillipine Airlines to fly to the States why should Caymanians worry about that as long as the deal benefits Cayman? Is there potential to get a premium based on this "carrot"- if so do it.

    No disrespect to Pilar but it appears you or previous management were not the correct people. There is no shame in admitting this. Get the right people in place or sell the business or enter into a joint venture that releases some of the financial burden CAL places on the Cayman budget. It is not overly important to have a national carrier – larger operators will fill the gap more efficiently.

    I am no fan of McKeeva but if the rumours are true about a deal with CAL then inform the public.

    All this bickering does not help the economy, the people or our reputation. People should unite and focus on fixing issues and moving forward. Cayman is sprinting in reverse.

    McKeeva you need to take a long hard look in the mirror and think if you are doing what is right for the country: based on your comments and stance it does not appear so. Call a snap election to help you decide. If your voted in then keep going, if not step aside for your country- that is your duty.



    • Anonymous says:

      A deal with the Philippines IS FINE  if it is above board and legitimate. With $25M to give CAL,  wanna bet XXXXX? 

  10. Anonymous says:

    May he rest in peace, but let’s bring back Poo-Poo (Wilfred) as the CEO!!!!! Is this the next thing that good ole Dart will claim ownership to?

  11. Anonymous says:

    If anyone in West Bay would be so FOOL as to run with anyone in the UDP or vote for anyone associated with the UDP then it is full proof that ……..you can't fix STUPID.  We cannot take another 6 months of the UDP much less 4 more years.  Come on West Bayers……u can do better for all of us….just give up the free fridge this one time.  PLEASE

  12. Say Wha? says:

    Lie with dogs, wake up with fleas.  Say Wha.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are rude and have no respect, you should keep your opinion to your stupid self.

      • Anonymous says:

        I've always been told that calling someone stupid is rude and disrespectful.

      • Say Wha? says:

        Where you think dem fleas come from other than from dem dirty dogs you lie down with?  Your Momma neva tell you that?  I Say Wha???

  13. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Pilar. Stand that close for so long, you were bound to get slimed.

  14. Mitzie Miller Tomlinson says:

    when you dont be a yes man to Mr Bush out the door you go, out # 1 Brian Tomlinson  NRA #2 Pilar CAL, at the end of the day you will have your Names More than what we can say for Hem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is this the same Pilar Bush that also works for Dart?

      • Anonymous says:

        She has her own company- Atwater Consulting….and yes that company has done work for Dart like hundreds of Caymanian companies have but she also has many, many other local and international clients.

        You guys are crazy about Dart aren't you? This Dart thing is really getting boring and stale now.

        • Anonymous says:

          I'm not sure that's the point that they were trying to make.  This idea that now that your government is in power, we get appointed to Boards or we can 'clean up' and benefit personally through contracts and the like, because you have the 'ear of the government' has got to stop! Its a form of corruption.  You can tell by what happens to these individuals once their government is not in power.  Their business somehow just doesnt do as well and they are never to be heard from again, until their government comes back in power.

      • Anonymous says:

        is this the same Pilar Bush that sold her house in wesy bay to the govt for a 'cruise ship dock'?

  15. Anon says:

    Didn’t Henry VIII have the same policy for his detractors?

  16. The lone haranguer says:

    Pilar is to straight for Big Mac , he needs to be able to maneuver. You know, bob weave lie cheat steal!

  17. Anonymous says:

    LOL.  Mac soon won't have any UDP members to appoint if he don't stop firing them.  Soon, he'll be the only member of the UDP.  Oops, my apologies, he is the only member of the UDP; the others are just pawns that he uses. 

    It won't be long though, cause he can't bully the UK; our only hope.  If he can last to the end of the month is a miracle.  For if his compatriots in the house don't remove him, I firmly believe the UK will.  Praise the LORD!

    • Anonymous says:

      You know something is very strange here.

      All these people on here talking about needing the UK, and the Good Lord and anyone else they can summon to come and remove Big Mac.

      We elected him over and over again, we did, not the UK, not the Good Lord, we did, us Caymanians put him where he is today!!!!! 

      So instead of praying that someone else removes him, why don't we?

      Now Cayman, here is the challenge:



  18. Anonymous says:

    What happened in the Philippines between MAC, Pilar and CAL CEO for this to happen so soon after returning?

    • Anonymous says:

      Ordinarily, I would say this is a “wake-up call for Pilar”. However this really is a wake-up call for all women in the Cayman Islands! There are far too many bright young women who are dismissed and in this case highly disrespected in the most unprofessional way by men (without integrity)!

      The Women Crisis Center, Estella Scott Foundation and countless other organizations have been trying to create a more loving, respectful, kinder, gentle society and create a culture appreciation for women on these islands for years.  Now look how the Premier treats one of our brightest hard working women. It is an absolute disgrace. I feel ashamed to be a man when I see how the Premier treats women!

      There are more women on these islands than men and more women are receiving professional qualifications than our young men.  Women do not have to stand for such abusive behavior! I think it is high time that we have more women elected in our Parliament than has been in the last 28 years! This is a call for women to get in to a better position, to guide this society and make it a more loving and caring society with less violence and yes crime. This next election, should the good Lord spare our lives, women please, put your name on the ballot paper!   We need to have at least 6 women elected to the Legislative Assembly. We know women make better decisions; we know women resolve conflict more effectively. We know women are better educated so please step up to the plate come May 2013, the world needs you!

      • Anonymous says:

        This is NOT a gender issue. Your argument is a cop-out and an insult to Pilar.  There are far bigger issues at play here.  I'm not minimizing the need for gender equality, but this is not one of those issues. This is pure politics…..plain and straight.

        • Mon E Ting says:

          Not a gender issue! But it is a clear example of how the Premier treats women. Stop making excuses for such backward 11th century thinking and get out of your comfort zone!

          • Anonymous says:

            The next time a man gets fired at where I work, I'll be sure to bring up that in order to be equal a women will need to get fired in order that both genders are appreciated.

          • Anonymous says:

            The poster was completely right; it is not a matter of making excuses. It is how the Premier treats anyone who disagrees with him. It has nothing at all to do with the fact that she is a woman. We should be united on this instead of introducing gender division. You've clearly got a chip on your shoulder. This is as bad as someone who thinks that anything bad that happens to them is because of their skin colour.

    • Anonymous says:

      What happens in the Phillipines, stays in the Phillipines

  19. Anonymous says:

    betcha pilar and cline glidden gonna run against mac in 2013. desperate times call fro desperate measures. wish theyd all stop pretending publicly like they get along. everybody know mac and cg been at war from the time he replaced him on the dock deal. i guess unfair games always play twice.

  20. Anonymous says:

    People need to understand that when you declare yourself to be "eternally honourable" then there is no any need to follow any rules, including the rules of common decency such is informing senior board members of changes in direction.

    • Anonymous says:

      Neither CG or Pilar are popular in West Bay and won't win the election – I supporting Cora Grant who is running as an independent.

      Most everybody in West Bay are talking abount her running and eager to support her.

      She can't run with the UDP since Bernie running with them, but Cora has much to offer, so guess she will stand alone.

      She is a very popular and down to earth and I am sure that she will muster up enough votes to win n election in West Bay where we need change from all the tostestrone and women chasing poloticians we have in there now.

      She is one of the reasons why I attend the campaign meetings, because she is so passionate and engaged when she speaks. She can certainly  outspeak both CG and Captain


      • Anonymous says:

        Cora an independent??

        You dont know west bayers

        • Anonymous says:

          Tell ya wha – I'll ask Cora Grant the  next time I see her at the gymn what her take is on all of this – and whatever she says I will belevie. Have no reason to doubt wha she says – she shoots from the hip and takes no prisoners.

          Shes a bad mama jammer, shut ya mouth.

           Ive hear her mouthing off about all the injustices Caymanians suffer!

          But the question is – is she truly runnin?

      • Anonymous says:

        For sure, Ms. Cora will stay sober and get the job done. Just saying!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know whether these changes were related to improving the potential profitability of "real estate consulting"?

  22. Anonymous says:

    dictators do not inform anyone they are going to be replaced! its only one opinion and one way that matters welcome to Mac,s world.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The only thing our high-ups remind me of is a 'bull in a china shop'. Do what he says or get out of his way.

    What are we coming to? Maybe he sees it as his 'last-lap' so he will take down as many as possible with him.  I am glad there still is a God mightier than any of us. I just pray he undertakes in ever way.

    • Shaken, not Stirred says:

      Didn't she learn? She of all people should know from experience that he "chews you up & throws you away" when he has no more use for you. He will use you until he needs you know more. "Once bitten, twice shy" but maybe as family she was prepared to overlook that, but hopefully she has finally learnt this time.

    • Anonymous says:




      i know what you mean. Can we also say, "David Cameron is a bull in a china shop?

      Did he just remove 5 of his cabinet members?.

      Maybe you think it is a sin for Cayman leaders  to shuffle people from certain post.

  24. Anon says:

    I don't know Pilar Bush, and ignoring the inference of political meddling in this article for a second, can anyone answer some simple questions like whether she was any good at her job? Did she oversee any meaningful change at CAL for the better (or worse?). The financial state of CAL suggests not?

    P. S. I am in no way agreeing with the way she was removed, but I would like some understanding of her achievements (or not) whilst serving on the board.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know that Pilar is a educated Caymanian, a very smart lady, but I amafraid I cannot tell you how well she did her job at the airline.   I  also heard that he turned on her after she told him she was supporting the OMOV.   I find that quite believable because that is his style.  God bless you Pilar- I wish you had not gotting so cozy with the Premier.  He is a destrpyer of good people.

    • Anonymous says:

      People are not appointed to boards for what they might achieve. It is a 4-year reward (board membership payments) for loyalty, and the certain knowledge that they will vote exactly as told at a moments notice.


      A quick search of CNS for Pilar and you will find that the Premier paid around $650K, or more than 3 times the appraised value, for property for West Bay dock from Pilar. Pilar was also paid $21K for "advising" the Premier on tourism.


      Unfortunately (or fortunately?), Pilar spoke out against the Premiers plans to tax expat salaries a few months ago, and McKeeva does not tolerate dissent from people he believes to have paid good money for.

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean people are not appointed by the UDP for what they might achieve.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is true dat? "Financial irregularity" I tink it what dem calls it.

  25. noname says:

    The reason Big Mac places people including cabinet members in positions of no backgound or no experience is to make them ineffective and rely on him being in his full control.

    All about control!


    Himself McKeeva Bush MLA for 32 years – Min of Finance, Tourism !

    Mike Adam former Dir CAL – Min of Housing!

    Mark Scotland degree in Engineering – Min of Heath!

    Rolston Anglin- CPA degree in Economics – Min of Education!

    Julana Occonnor – Lawyer/Teacher  Min Public worlks!

    Everyone of these are displaced!  .WHY?


  26. Anonymous says:

    oh, she wouldnt go along with getting dodgy Phillipine Airlines to become major investor in CAL so they can get around those pesky US TSA safety regulation problems?

    So, she gets replaced by a UDP loyalist who will rubber stamp it…

    typical McKeeva/UDP – ignore sensible advice, fnd a way to push the deal thru no matter how irregular

    SHOVE THAT SQUARE PEG INTO THAT ROUND HOLE – just put your backs into it! now HEEEAVE! A-one and a A-two …. PUSH!!


  27. Anonymous says:

    Took long enough.  Congrats to Philip.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Clearly people are upset. Some don’t like change…I on the other hand embrace it. Who knows what the out come will be only time will tell but I assure you pestimism is only a disease optimisum is the cure

    • Anonymous says:

      "Pestimism" pretty much describes the situation, doesn't it?!

    • Anonymous says:

      CAL knows plenty change. At least two CEOs and two chairpersons every 4 year Govt term and this time with UDP, a record – three Chairs. Please god, let someone  be desperate enough to invest in CAL – and make Washington and London be asleep on the day the applications need to be approved. If real business people come in you bet the senior management and staff will have to perform. People in high paying protected positions to secure political favour even when they cannot do their jobs. Politicians coddling CAL staff to secure their votes every election. CAL is Civil Service part two. Just check the salaries of their top executives. Then check the resumes. Next!

      • Anonymous says:

        And where exactly is CAL flying when they have been downgraded to a 2.  I for one would prefer no one investing in CAL that will drag it down.  It's bad enough already.

    • Anonymous says:

      Isn't Pest Control the cure for pestimism? 

  29. Anonymous says:

    One stooge replaces another stooge.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes these things come back to bite you.  I remember well when Truman Bodden and Pilar came into the airline and let go almost the entire management team without any justification other than political reasons. I remember too that Pilar claimed one of those spots for herself.

    Spit in the Sky and it  will fall in your eye. What goes around comes around.

    Good luck to you Pilar, You learned the hard way like we had to. You are lucky that that was not your only job and you have something to fall back on. We didn't have that!


    • Anonymous says:

      Truman and Pilar? Get the facts straight. I have been around the National airline longer than most people and was around in the 90's. The big management cleaning of house was in '94 or '95- Phillip Wood, Chalo, Dawn McLean were sent home. It was led by Leonard Ebanks as Chairman. Truman, Tom, McKeeva, John McLean, RIchard Coles, George McCarthy were EXCO. Pilar sstarted at CAL in 97 under MD Ray Wilson cause she replaced Laura Ellis who died tragically in a car accident. RIP Laura. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Correction..you were not around long enough..Truman had Pilar in there as some type of consultant long before Laura died…Don't disrespect the woman's memory with that crap. She didn't take Laura's position she took Phillip Wood's position as Head of Marketing and Sales. Furthermore Ray Wilson was there long before 97 when Pilar started. Truman was the minister in charge of Avaition and the worse one the airline ever had…Remember those old broken down 737-200's that he wouldn't ever get rid of and cost us a fortune.

        Maybe Pilar should speak for herself. There is enough bad blood in that airline to go around and still some of the ones that continue to pull it down remain there. It is shocking how many chairmans, managing directors CEO's and other managers and staff that it has gone through over the years. Many people with good intentions started their careers there only to be blindsided by folks like these driven by spite to further their own politcal gains and fortunes.

        It is unfortunate that Pilar has been dealt this blow but it is no different than what she and previous governments and ministers did to good hardworking people. Funny though how all of these people went on to other successful careers. I guess it was Cayman AIrways, unfortunately who lost. Pilar has got her own business she will do just fine..She just won't be getting any government contracts nor will the family land for the dock get sold in West Bay.

  31. Aeroflot says:

    How to appoint a director at CAL

    1. Find someone is not the greatest at their day job.

    2. Check that they have no experience in the airline industry.

    3. If they have no experience, appoint them to the board on the basis that they are bound to be good at something and that something might just be running an airline.

    4. Watch them take lots of free flights as the airline spirals further into debt.

    5. When the resign go back to 1.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Be a woman, Pilar, and let this country and your people know the whole truth of the matter. You certainly don't have your position on the CAL Board to worry about. And you just might find yourself Premier of the Cayman Islands come next May.  

  33. Anonymous says:

    As opposed to McKeeva Bush, Phillip Rankine graduated from a good christian school. It will be very interesting indeed to see how long he can keep his mouth shut to keep his new position.

    • Y U T E says:

      "That wha ya get"!!!!! "Play with puppy & it will lick your face" & the UDP (Big Mac) just licked your face honey P P

    • Dred says:

      Hold on….lol..

      Do you think these people were picked because they COULD oppose???

      The naivity of it all.

    • Anonymous says:

      So what??

      He is a rabid UDP supporter appointed to rubber stamp whatever Mac wants!

      How does his graduation from a "Christian school" matter??

      McKeeva is a professed born-again Christian – THIS HAS NO RELEVANCE WHATSOEVER.


  34. Anonymous says:

    Pilar, that'll teach you to try and give sensible advice to the 'Boss'.

    Sounds like yet another wrongfully dismissal claim against CIG pending.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Big Mac only notifies the person being appointed, and never the one being replaced. Pilar would of course remember this from the time that she was appointed.

  36. Anonymous says:

    As opposed to McKeeva Bush, Phillip Rankine graduated from a good christian school. It will be very interesting indeed to see how long he can keep his mouth shut to keep his new position.

    • Anonymous says:

      Phil,  Congrats on the position and i hope you make something out of CAL.

  37. Don Miguel says:

    The price one has to pay for being a loyal Stooge!

  38. The Rt. Hon. Anon says:

    Only in Cayman can we have a Board of our national airline which comprises just local politically connected people with no background in aviation. Wasn't queen JuJu the Chairman up until a few years ago?

    • Anonymous says:

      There is actually a requirement in the Overseas Territories Aviation Regulations (I think that's the correct term) for CAL to provide an accountable manager with an aviation background who must be approved by the CAACI.

      But it doesn't alway work. Remember Patrick Strasburger? Sadly, the Net News stories on him are now lost in their closed archives but that was a sad lesson in how not to do things.

      The big problem is that if CAL ever brought in real airline professionals to help run things they'd be told to shut almost the whole thing down and codeshare most of the routes with other operators because commercially it doesn't make sense for the Cayman Islands to have a national airline. 

      • Anonymous says:

        CAL could make money flying Miami, Jamaica and CYB.  If it is a policians desire to have it fly a new route, a proper marketing study should first be done by the airline's marketing team to determine the likelihood of its success.  If they determine that it would not succeed, the Minister should not be able to go contrary to them and sink the airline into debt.  I swear our Constitution has to change.  Politicians with unfettered power are dangerous.

        • Micky Mouse says:

          Please spear the blogs on the constitution! Another screw-up by the PPM! Lord knows that Alden should only be a gate's keeper in a fowl coupe exhibition!!!!

        • Anonymous says:


          Some basic airline economics / passenger behaviours.

          1) an airline needs to work its horses to make ends meet never mind make a profit.

          2) aircraft cannot be available 24/7 every day

          3) Passengers expect scheduled flights to fly

          4) Chartering in  aircraft costs a fortune.

          That tells us that CAL needs at least two 100 seat passenger aircraft to be in business. it also needs to keep them flying reasonably full most days of the year. Accepting (as I hope we can) that the existing (or any prospective replacement) jet kit cannot achieve high load factors doing the GCM / CYB hop through the day then you reckon that there is enough traffic for CAL to fly that many return legs to MIA / KIN full day in day out year round (in competition with other airlines on the USA / GCM run).

          I think not. truth is that CAL is in an awful place in terms of stand alone viability.  Reality leaves 3 choices.

          1) Ongoing Govt subsidy on the basis of profile / tourist worth of 'visibiltiy' of having own carrier (status quo)

          2) become part of a caribbean consortium which may allow individual airline branding but can shift load factors more efficiently (difficult but possible)

          3) Shut down and allow broader based carriers to ferry our nationals and visitors to / from US (and other) hubs (sharp intake of breath and swallowing of pride)

          To be clear…for options 1 and 2 we still need to cut the fat and operate more efficiently but that alone will not do it.


  39. Wow says:

    Yet another UDP injustice and the "yes men" remain silent and allow their leader to continue his rampage.