Archive for November 15th, 2012

Minister drives BT dump on

| 15/11/2012 | 65 Comments

_DSC2388.png(CNS): Cardno ENTRIX has been appointed to work with the Environmental Advisory Board to finalise the draft terms of reference ahead of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that will be carried out on land in Bodden Town where government is proposing to partner withthe Dart group to create a new landfill. In a statement from his ministry, Mark Scotland, who represents the district and is also the minister for the environment, spoke of a comprehensive Waste Management Facility (WMF) incorporating multiple modes of processing waste, including landfilling proper implementation of a ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ policy” as well as a future waste-to-energy (WTE) facility, and indicating government’s intention to press ahead with the project.

However, despite the minister’s claims about a modern facility, there was no indication that the additional elements of the landfill would be undertaken by Dart. So far, the islands’ largest developer has stated that it will only be responsible for the first phase of the controversial project, which is a lined landfill. All other components will be left up to government.

The entire project has stirred up considerable opposition in Scotland’s district, where campaigners are working hard to call attention to the mounting concerns surrounding the proposal. The most recent issue for the Coalition To Keep Bodden Town Dump Free is the limits on the EIA, which is being confined to examine the proposed Dart site and ignore any alternative locations or explore what would be the most cost effective and environmentally sound solution to the country’s growing waste management project.

As Scotland released his statement Thursday, the coalition also circulated an open letter it had sent to the UK’s overseas minister asking him, in light of his comments and action over the government’s cruise port proposals, to also put a stop to the ForCayman Alliance. (See related CNS story here)

Despite the opposition to the plan in the district, as well as the questions surrounding the proposal’s legality given Thursday’s amendment to the public finance law and what some have described as political suicide, not just for the minister but his backbench and constituency UDP colleague Dwayne Seymour, the government is pressing ahead with the plan and is now pushing towards establishing terms of reference for an EIA.

Scotland said that Cardno ENTRIX was selected from a short-list of three consultants approved by the EAB.

“The challenge of effectively dealing with solid waste management has plagued successive governments over the past 20 years,” said Scotland. “This government is committed to finding a practical, responsible and affordable solution to address the country’s solid waste problems. We support creating a properly designed, engineered and managed waste management facility because it allows us the opportunity to modernize our approach to handling waste, which will include recycling and waste-to-energy.“

Speaking about a shift towards reducing and reusing to reduce the per capita waste, he said the country had an opportunity to make the necessary policy and operational changes.

“We are considering the proposal for WMF in the area east of Midland Acres from the Dart Group as part of the For Cayman Investment Alliance,” Scotland stated. “It is the responsibility of government to make sure that this proposal, which includes the closure of the George Town Landfill, and has the potential to be a win-win for the country, is evaluated properly by the appropriate technical review teams and subject matter experts.”

Scotland claimed that the proposed site was selected based on a survey but he did not indicated when it was undertaken or by whom. He said other studies undertaken by government in the early 1990’s had also recommended the Eastern Districts as the general location for alternate landfill sites.

Dart’s proposal, the minister stated, includes an undertaking to provide an Environmental Impact Assessment and, given the nature of the project and the size of the land area, Dart was required to undertake the EIA in advance of the planning application, so the findings can inform the final project design.

 “We are committed to ensuring that there is an EIA conducted and the findings of the EIA will inform government’s decision-making process as well as the Central Planning Authority’s permitting process,” Scotland added.

“Government will ensure that we apply the appropriate standards and best practices in the carrying out of our primary role as the regulator with the capability and capacity for effective oversight, management and monitoring of the current GTLF and the new WMF. We are of the view that the WMF presents multiple opportunities for outsourcing various aspects of the WMF operations, for example, recycling and WTE,” the minister stated about the controversial project.

He said that the Draft TOR will be open to public review and feedback prior to being finalized and the start of the EIA. The ministry will begin the public consultation the week of 18 November with public meetings in both Bodden Town and George Town.

The Draft TORs are available at www.forcayman.com or www.doe.ky and hard copies are available at the Government Administration Building on Elgin Avenue, George Town; at the Bodden Town Public Library and Post Office; and at the George Town Public Library.  Consultation will also include meetings with various stakeholder groups.

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Back-benchers revolt on FFR

| 15/11/2012 | 32 Comments

cline (258x300).jpg(CNS): The Public Management and Finance amendment bill setting the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR) into local law was passed in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday afternoon, despite an expected UDP back-bench revolt. The document finally became law with the help of opposition. Cline Glidden, Ellio Solomon and Dwayne Seymour all voted 'no' and there were four members absent at the time of the vote, which took place after the House opened some four hours later than expected. In concluding his closing remarks on the bill before the vote, the premier said, without a hint of irony, that he should be given credit for bringing the bill now that the opposition supported it.

Just a week short of a year since McKeeva Bush actually signed the FFR and made the commitment to the UK to pass it into local law before the end of the last financial year, via the PMFL, the framework has at last been formalized. After missing several deadlines imposed by the FCO to enact the necessary legislation and following a crisis between the premier and the UK minister over the tardiness in its passage and, more importantly, additions Bush had attempted to include in the law, the premier told the opposition that they should credit him with bringing the bill to the House.

He said the opposition had criticised him for signing it but now they were all describing the FFR as the saviour of the Cayman Islands. “They have sung the praises of the FFR so if it’s a saviour for Cayman they must give me credit for signing it. I know it’s hard for them but they can’t say it’s good for the country but I’m bad for bringing it forward.”

Ahead of the vote, the premier had on the one hand asked members of the Legislative Assembly to vote for it but on the other told non-government members not bound by collective Cabinet responsibility to vote their conscience as he was not a dictator.

Admitting again that he had signed the agreement under pressure, he said he had hoped that once he signed it in order to get the budget, he would be able to negotiate with the UK. He said the agreement indicated that its passage into legislation was dependent on the members of the LA

He urged what he described as “officialdom” to stop trying to prevent him from getting things moving, and while the FFR was going to herald in more bureaucracy, he said he had promised people that he would “put projects there and they cannot be denied”. He called on the public to be careful what they listened to and what “officialdom” was saying as he suggested there was an effort to harm the country.

“I am talking about the good of one and all. When they strike me down as they are trying to do, the (people) will fall short of a voice for them … I am the elected premier,” he said, whether they wanted to give him respect or not. “All I’m asking is they allow my government to perform and stop trying to stop me … They try and say I am crooked … When are we going to learn that there are people who don’t want us to succeed. They can investigate me and they take things out of context but I have done nothing wrong.”

Bush said he still believed Cayman did not need all of the details in the new PMFL and the FFR law, as he indicated that if he had said good morning that day it would have been in the legislation. “We don’t need all of this but I am going to do it,” the premier stated before the law was put to the vote.

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CJ’s query should be heard in CI, says UK court

| 15/11/2012 | 5 Comments

chief justice.jpg(CNS): The Privy Council’s Judicial Committee has stated that a petition filed by the Cayman Islands’ chief justice in relation to constitutional questions regarding the impartiality and independence of the local judiciary should be heard in the Cayman Islands own Grand Court. In a judgment handed down Thursday, the UK’s highest court unanimously advised  that the petition should be dismissed. “It would be inappropriate for the Judicial Committee to substantively consider the two issues raised in the Petition, because those issues could be raised by way of ordinary proceedings in the Grand Court,” the judges said.

“Where such proceedings are a possibility, it would be wrong as a matter of principle, and in the absence of special factors, for the Judicial Committee to act as a court of first and last resort.”

The three judges, Lord Neuberger, Lord Hope, and Lord Mance, indicated that the 1833 act under which Chief Justice Anthony Smellie had brought the petition is intended to provide mechanism for issues which cannot be determined through ordinary judicial process. They said there were no special factors in this case that crossed “the relatively high hurdle to justify the provision of substantive answers” as both of the issues in question could be considered by the Grand Court in the normal way.

The judges found that if the chief justice brought an application locally there was no risk of the governor selecting the judge in his own cause because it would be the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales who nominated a temporary judge to consider the application. They went on to say that there would not be any difficulties either in finding a suitable  Court of Appeal panel if the CJ went on to appeal any decision of a temporary judge heard in the local Grand Court.

“That the two issues are of high constitutional importance reinforces why the Grand Court should initially deal with them,” the three senior judges stated. “The Judicial Committee will normally wish to have regard to the views of the local court when determining constitutional issues which are brought before it from that court’s jurisdiction.”

The decision came following a petition filled by the CJ in May to the UK court seeking a decision on the powers of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) established under the Cayman Islands 2009 Constitution in relation to the appointment of judges past retirement age and disciplinary procedures and the general impact this has on judges’ independence. In response, the Cayman Islands governor argued that the UK court should not advise on the merits of the issues, primarily on the basis that they should be resolved in Cayman.

In the wake of the decision, the CJ explained that the aim of his petition was to bring local provisions for judicial tenure and discipline in line with standards in the United Kingdom as a means of safeguarding the independence of the judiciary.

“Great care will need to be taken as the next steps are explored,” said Chief Justice Smellie, noting that having the matter resolved before the Privy Council would have been quicker, simpler and less costly than dealing with it locally as, in the end, the matter may go back to the Privy Council on appeal.

“The Government of the Cayman Islands and the Constitution have wisely preserved the power to refer issues to the Privy Council in London making it possible to bring difficult and important issues such as these before an expert tribunal for resolution,” Cayman’s top judge said. “The need for this will always be rare but it is a very important safeguard of the Constitution of the Cayman Islands and therefore of the rights of persons appearing before the courts. I am therefore disappointed that it seems we must now first go through the protracted stages before the local courts as the Privy Council was not prepared to rule on the substance of the matters at this stage.”

He explained that the goal was to preserve the impartiality of the judiciary as the Bill of Rights now guarantees the fundamental right of every person to a hearing before an “independent and impartial” court. An important assurance of those rights, said the chief justice, is firmly and indisputably established tenure and judges must be and seen to be unconstrained by potential influences.

“We took action now to avert any possibility of any attempted rogue influences in the future, whether real or perceived,” Smellie added.

He explained that in the UK there is no discretionary renewal of appointments as all judges, full or part time, are appointed until age 70. The CJ’s concern, however, is that the Constitution Order 2009 provides for judges to remain in office only until they are 65 and after that, the Constitution declares, they may remain until 70 years, but only at the discretion of the governor based on advice from the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC).

The CJ stated that the basis upon which that discretion can be exercised is what required clarification as well as the nature and extent of the disciplinary power that may be exercised over the judges.

“The matter needs to be resolved now, before difficult cases start to come before the court requiring an interpretation of the Constitution Order and the Bill of Rights,” Chief Justice Smellie said. “Any potential for aspersions about the partiality of judges must be removed now, before it arises in other cases,” he continued. Waiting until it became an issue could bog down the court in protracted hearings that would ultimately be more costly and could bring the whole system to a halt, he added.

See full judgement below.

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Cops donate old cars to student auto-mechanics

| 15/11/2012 | 0 Comments

automotive club 1 (252x300).jpg(CNS): A joint venture between the RCIPS and the education ministry’s after school programme (EASP) has resulted in a group of young would be car mechanics getting their hands on two old cop cars. The RCIPS recently donated two decommissioned police vehicles to the Automotive Club which is located at John Gray High School and Clifton Hunter High School. The club was launched in September last eyar and offers young people aged between 11 and 17 years the chance to learn about how cars work and safety issues relating to mechanics. There are around 50 students now attending the twice-weekly sessions.

The RCIPS has donated a 2004 Chevrolet Impala and a 2005 Ford Explorer to the club. The vehicles were decommissioned as part of the routine RCIPS fleet management programme. Normally the vehicles would be auctioned but following discussion with the leaders of the EASP, RCIPS management felt that the benefits to the club and local young people far outweighed those of selling them.

Chief Inspector Raymond Christian is delighted that the RCIPS could assist this worthwhile project. “This is a great example of how inter-agency collaboration can provide our young people with choices and better prepare them for the future,” he said.

“ Without this club, and the many other provided through the Extended After School Programme, some of these young people may spend their time wandering the streets or become tempted to get involved in criminality or anti-social behaviour. This club gives them a clear focus, provides them with valuable life skills and a great opportunity to develop and expand their interest in cars. But, above all, it provides a safe environment for the students to have fun while they learn.”

The Ministry of Education’s Programme Coordinator, Michael Myles said the EASP is a fantastic opportunity for children and their parents to be provideda safe, structured and caring environment. 

“Our partnership with the RCIPS has proved that when we work together, great things can be created for our children.  The EASP complements the Ministry of Education’s five year National Strategic Plan which is to ensure all of our children are provided with safer schools and activities.  On behalf of the Ministry, we thank all of our sponsors who continue to make this programme possible for all of our children,” he added.

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South Sound Schools record first win of season

| 15/11/2012 | 0 Comments

(CUC-PFL): After stumbling in their first two pflfinals2012 003 (232x300).jpggames, the Under 11s from South Sound Schools got their season back on track with a narrow 2-1 victory over the always enthusiastic visitors from Cayman Brac. Following an uneventful first half which ended scoreless, the game exploded into life in the second half as the South Sound Schools forwards started to find their range with a series of shots. On the other side of the ball, Cayman Brac was gaining in confidence as their forwards were finding a little space to run in. In the 45th minute, the Brac’s speedy and determined striker Shayla Connor broke free from the South Sound Schools defenders and hammered her team into the lead with a well-taken effort, much to the delight of the Brac supporters.

With Cayman Brac in the ascendency, South Sound Schools pushed forward and were rewarded with a penalty after Kiran Conolly-Basdeo was taken down in the penalty area. Up stepped Aidan Hew who calmly placed the ball into the corner of the net to bring his team level. With five minutes to go, South Sound School’s inspirational leader Lewis McMurdo broke the hearts of the Cayman Brac players and supporters as he popped up to score his team’s second goal and clinch the victory following a goal-mouth scramble.

Other results from Group B were: Red Bay Primary 0 vs. Bodden Town Primary 2 (Under 9); Red Bay Primary 5 vs. Bodden Town Primary 0 (Under 11); Cayman Prep 9 vs. Prospect Primary 1 (Under 9); Cayman Prep 12 vs. Prospect Primary 0 (Under 11).  The

Under 9 game between Triple C and NorthEast Schools was postponed.
In Group A it was Savannah Primary 2 vs. Sir John A. Cumber Primary 1 (Under 9); Savannah Primary 1 vs. Sir John A. Cumber Primary 5 (Under 11); Cayman International School 1 vs. Truth For Youth 1 (Under 9); Cayman International School 1 vs. Truth For Youth 0 (Under 11); St. Ignatius Prep 4 vs. George Town Primary 1 (Under 9) and St. Ignatius Prep 0 vs. George Town Primary 0 (Under 11).

The 2012/2013 CUC PFL regular season continues this Saturday, November 17 with games being played at various primary school venues around the Island.

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Bill of rights trumps in traffic case delay

| 15/11/2012 | 7 Comments

Plaatje-Christopher-Human-Rights.jpg(CNS): James Stenning became the first local defence attorney to take advantage of the people's new rights in order to assist a client last week. During a sentencing hearing in a traffic case on Tuesday 6 November, the day the Cayman Islands Bill of Rights came into effect, the crown's efforts to obtain a compensation order against Thomas Novak were thwarted as a result of continued delays by the prosecution. Stenning argued that the crown was too late to claim compensation in the careless driving case. Pointing to the dawning of a new era in the local criminal justice system, which will see delays play a more important part in all court cases, Stenning said that the continued adjournments by the crown broke his clients new constitutional rights.

The magistrate, who had previously indicated that she was unlikely to allow any further adjournments in the case, agreed and stopped the crown's attempts to secure compensation.

The local judiciary has over the last few months signalled a warning to representatives from the office of public prosecutions about the importance of avoiding delays in regard to court cases.

Justice Alex Henderson in particular has been vocal about the problems of continued delays that plague the local court system and has warned that, following the implementation of the Bill of Rights, even serious criminal cases could be thrown out if the prosecution is found to have delayed the cases, regardless of the reasons.

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Turtle farm position at odds with premier, say activists

| 15/11/2012 | 21 Comments

1012822 (285x300).jpg(CNS): The international animal rights group which is campaigning to turn the Cayman Turtle Farm into a conservation attraction has said that the farm management appears to be at odds with the Cayman premier’s position that he was taking the evidence presented about the farm seriously. In a letter sent to the director Tim Adam earlier this month, Dr Neil D'Cruze from the World Society for the Protection of Animals said that the charity was surprised, given the premier’s admission that both he and the farm were taking the evidence of WSPA seriously, that the farm had denied the findings and had continued to ignore the charities concerns and offers of assistance.

In a bid to keep lines of communication open with the CTF, as the campaign to stop the farming of the turtles and develop a world class conservation facility grows, WSPA has again offered to help. The charity admits that it believes there is there is no humane way to commercially produce green sea turtles, and as a result, it says it is seeking the swiftest and most effective way to address the welfare concerns raised in its research through collaboration with the CTF.

“We have gone to great lengths over the last year to gather the required evidence, speak with all of the relevant stakeholders and provide the time required for them to thoroughly consider our proposed collaboration on this issue. As you will know, we have repeatedly said that our strong preference is for resolving the situation co-operatively. I would like to repeat that preferred choice to you today,” D’Cruze writes.

“It is disappointing that that the CTF and Caymanian Government have isolated themselves by refusing to accept that our welfare concerns are genuine and based upon tangible evidence. However, as always, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to determine how we can work together. Indeed as you will be aware, the UK Government are now urging us to work together to reach positive solutions, but we cannot do this unless you enter into dialogue with us.”

In the letter dated 2 November, D'Cruze also asks the farm’s director for more details on the independent review that he has publicly stated the farm will be undertaking sometime next month in response to the damning findings of WSPA. He also asked if the farm would permit the WSPA to participate and share its experience during the review.

“WSPA understands that the CTF is of great importance to the Cayman Islands and many people want to make it a success,” the charity stated. “WSPA believes that the farm can change for the better — it can become a humane and sustainable operation that meetsits conservation aims; is safe for visitors; more economically viable; and a genuine source of pride for the Cayman Islands.”

More than 87,000 people from at least 150 different countries have signed the on-line petition and several other international non-governmental organizations and charities have offered their support to the campaign. WSPA said that there was a strengthening tide of public, academic, and political opinion against the CTF as a consequence of what it uncovered and asked the Farm director to work with them to transition the farm into a conservation facility.

In a damning report last month the WSPA went public with its findings in both the local and international media, which caused a barrage of bad publicity for the Cayman Turtle Farm. The researchers from the internationally respected organization documented a catalogue of problems, from diseases, congenital defects, cannibalism, inhumane treatment and overcrowding.

Since then, the farm has categorically denied the accusations and claim conservation credentials as a result of the research done there. It stated that no complaints have ever been made about inhumane treatment, even though three hundred turtles were left to die in the sun a few weeks ago when a sea pipe leak drained one the holding tanks.

The Turtle Farm absorbs a subsidy from the public purse of as much as $10 million annually since it was redeveloped in 2005. The premier has persistently claimed that the failure of the newer facility is because there should have been a pier in West Bay to bring cruise passengers directly to the farm.

Related article on CNS:

Report slams Turtle Farm

See full WSPA letter to CTF below.

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Mac denies blowing Ritz duty

| 15/11/2012 | 56 Comments

IMG-20121115-00313.jpg(CNS): McKeeva Bush has denied missing out on an opportunity to collect on the $6 million still owed to the public purse in relation to the development of the Ritz Carlton-Cayman and has accused the new owners of trying to threaten the government. The premier told members of the Legislative Assembly that Five Mile Capital (RC Cayman’s parent company) had offered to pay the $6 million but there were many strings attached which could have cost government millions of dollars. He also raised questions about the way the hotel was sold, suggesting it was significantly undervalued and that the land registry was looking into that in connection with the stamp duty value.

During his presentation to close the debate on the amendment to the Public Management and Finance Law to incorporate the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility agreement, the premier said that he did not miss the chance to collect the outstanding duty, which he said the new owners were responsible for. Bush stated that the firm knew about the outstanding duty when they bought the loan and they had tried to negotiate paying government’s $6 million based on a long list of concession but the price was far too high.

Last week the new owners released a press statement in which they said they had made an offer to government about the duty but it was contingent on entering into an agreement with the CIG before the auction last month and they had not heard from government before that sale. As a result, the offer was withdrawn but the owners said they would be paying the full stamp duty amount on the $177 million sale.

Bush stated in the LA Wednesday that the “wish list” put forward by the new owners as a negotiation over the duty had included reductions in the work permit fees, stamp duty on the sale and future sales, as well as new duty concessions, the rights to make their own desalinated water on site, the right to buy the freehold and expedited changes in licence, among other things.

The premier said that because he did not grant their wish list the owners had implied that the opportunity to collect on the $6 million was lost, which was simply not the case.

“The government does not give into threats,” he added. Bush insisted that the Cayman government wanted to be a good partner with the new owners as the Ritz Carlton was an important part of the tourism product, but he had to act in the best interests of the country and the demand for concessions was far too great. “Government has a right to be paid what is properly due and I will see it is done,” he told the House.

Bush stated that while he was not going to interfere with the legal arguments between the former owner Mike Ryan and the new companies, from the beginning government had been keen to be a supportive partner in how the issues surrounding the Ritz were resolved.

The premier said that after Five Mile purchased the debt, he met with them and Ryan when they discussed how to restructure the loan without any adverse publicity.

“I said then duties needed to be paid and the new owners had to play by the rules,” Bush added. However, he said that the new owners began to pursue an aggressive strategy of driving out Ryan to take control of the hotel. He said he travelled to Miami with backbench MLA Cline Glidden for meetings and discussed the duty and possible concessions, which he was willing to hear, but he said he had reminded them about the obligations that had to be met and that government could not get caught in middle of the legal situation at the Ritz.

“There were many strings attached to the offer to pay the $6 million,” Bush said, implying that to have granted their wishes could have totalled as much as a $70 million loss to the public purse. “We want to be good partners but both sides must do give and take.”

Bush said that the hotel was also worth far more than the owners paid. “We know and they know the real value of the Ritz-Carlton is far more than US$177 million.”  The premier stated that it was recently valued at over $468 million and government’s Lands and Survey Department had estimated its value was as much as a half billion dollars.  “I have asked the land registry to look into the sale and make sure they followed all the rules,” he added.

Having chosen to buy the loan on the hotel with an understanding of their obligations, the new owners were the ones that had chosen to drag the situation into the papers, Bush said. He accused the opposition of trying to help Richard Finlay, the attorney from Conyers Dill & Pearman representing them, to threaten government as Finlay was a former law partner of the leader of the opposition.

“If we follow the true facts behind the slurs and accusations and hypocrisy,” he said, as he took aim at the opposition leader, who had raised the issue about the Ritz duty in the LA last week. He accused Alden McLaughlin of trying to help his ‘”lawyer friend” .

“Everyone knows I supported Mike Ryan with the development of Ritz,” he said. But he denied that he had caused the loss of the six million dollars. “They are wrong and I will assess and demand that appropriate stamp duty is paid and deferred duty as well before their licenses and permits are given,” Bush told the members of the LA.

“The government has reached out a helping hand to the new group and will continue to do so but their cohorts should explain why they gave away the windfall,” Bush said as he pointed the finger at the PPM for the debt now being unsecured. The premier said he had the papers to prove that it was the PPM’s fault because the debt had been secured by the property but the opposition took it away.

McLaughlin denied the various attacks and pressed the speaker to make the premier withdraw the allegations that he was either supporting or assisting the new owners or that the PPM administration had changed the status of Ryan’s duty debt. McLaughlin pointed out he had been a partner of Finlay more than twelve years ago before he was elected as an MLA.

The opposition leader said the premier had to stop making unfounded allegations and explain why he let Mike Ryan “get away with the $6 million” and to explain his relationship with the former owner.

Related article on CNS Business:

Mac blew last chance fo $6M

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Jetblue’s Cayman service starts with flight from JFK

| 15/11/2012 | 13 Comments

(CNS): The US-based budget carrier, JetBlue, begins a regular service to Grand Cayman this month and the inaugural flight carrying the company’s dignitaries, including the airline’s VP, will be arriving at Owen Roberts International airport this morning (Thursday 15 November). The low cost airline will be running a weekly Saturday service from Boston and a three times a week flight from JKF in New York. Cayman is JetBlue’s 74th destination and the airline was selling tickets at US$139 one-way and full vacation packages from as little as US$599 this month to mark the occasion.

Following the recent announcement of the flight, Premier McKeeva Bush said the new services from New York and Boston would enhance Cayman’s accessibility for southbound travel.

“JetBlue's commitment to excellence and service is well renowned and we believe this winning partnership will yield mutually beneficial results well into the future," Bush added.

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PAL’s safety at root of SMC-CAL deal

| 15/11/2012 | 0 Comments

Philippine-Airlines.jpg(CNS Business): The motivation to invest in Cayman Airways by a Filipino company to address its airline’s problems has raised concerns that the National Flag carrier could fall foul of important aviation regulations. A proposed deal with San Miguel Corporation that could see the Asian company eventually own as much as 50% of CAL appears to be about addressing the problem it has with Philippines Airlines Ltd (PAL), which SMC owns. The Philippines media reported this week that the deal with CAL “could be the long-awaited solution to the downgraded aviation safety status’ suffered by PAL since 2008. As reported on CNS Business last month, the airline wants to use CAL’s good standing to circumvent its category 2 status in the USA and blacklisting in Europe. Read more on CNS Business

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