Your Dominica morning news roundup for Tuesday September 16th 2008:
We begin this Morning Brew with Earl Williams yet again in the news. This time the Dominica Bar Association speaks out on Allegations Made against Mr. Williams. When you think things couldnâ€™t get worse for Mr. Williams.
After listening to Fridays discussion by the Minister for Petro Caribe Reginald Austrie and Energy Minister Charles Savarin, on the issue of high electricity charges â€“ itâ€™s clear to see that the Government has No Close Resolution to the High Rate of Electricity in Dominica.
Carib Aviation, the Antigua based carrier, recently announced the suspension of flight operations on the 30th September 2008. The Airline is forced to reduce its Twin Otter schedule and only operate three Antigua / Montserrat and two Antigua / Barbuda rotations daily. On 12th September, Carib will suspend its Antigua, Dominica Canefield, Nevis, St Kitts and Anguilla scheduled operations. Bumper! Now itâ€™s twice as hard to get into Dominica, especially for travelers coming in from other Caribbean islands if LIAT is over-booked.
In a previous comment I mentioned that I was awaiting to hear the response by the bar association, which was long overdue. The situation for him will be a crisis of confidence at the very least. Such misappropriations in a small island environment (not to mention someone of his stature) can be very damaging.
Regarding the Petro Caribe/Venezuela proposal of a new generating facility, the 5MW plant proposed seems of insufficient capacity. There are also many things (engineering, operations, management, staffing, training etc) to be considered in running any power plant, however and so this is likely to take some time to be effected.
In any event the outcome will also depend on the success of talks and negotiations with Domlec. I do not think Domlec is welcoming the intended move with open arms. Engineering for the plant can not happen without commitment and agreement from Domlec. This may be long and drawn out. Plus the company has admitted that its relationship with Government at the moment is poor. It would be interesting to see how that plan materializes. This is certainly not an obvious fix to the problems with high tarrifs, though of course it could potentially help with one thing: reliable production capacity.
The case of the airline Liat stealing away Carib Aviation’s pilots is unfortunate for the business and more so, for the many travelers seeking alternative means of getting to destinations such as Dominica, but this is a free market economy. People will go where pay and working conditions are better. And Liat should not be criticized for stifling competition where it can do that in a legal manner, such as attracting pilots with better pay. Before an investor gets into a competitive environment he has to do his homework, scanning the environment including market research as part of the business plan.
If one wants to attract satisfied, good caliber individuals in any profession, one cannot overlook salary and benefits. This should be factored into the operational aspect of the business plan of any start up organization (which should include provision for contingencies). Welcome to the real world Carib Aviation. Certainly after the first few pilots were enticed over, the company should have stopped to reconsider how it can make its operations more sustaining (even if it meant getting more investment equity or short term loans). The aviation business (more so these days) is full of risk, particularly in the environment in the Caribbean! Ask the many airlines which have come and gone before.
You should have done your homework first Carib Aviation, so stop calling foul! For the people who have bookings though, this is such a travesty. But this is the nature of competition unfortunately. May the fittest survive.
Winair is a new option for travel to Dominica. http://www.fly-winair.com/index.php