Galleons Passage now due July 16

The Galleons Passage ferry should arrive in T&T by July 16 following certain upgrades currently being done in Cuba by the vessel’s seller, Works Minister Rohan Sinanan said yesterday.

Sinanan gave the update in response to Opposition questions in Parliament following reports the ferry will once again remain in Cuba for upgrades.

Last week, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said planned upgrades to the ferry by the seller and the T&T Government wouldn’t take place again since the seller had difficulties getting material and equipment from Australia to Cuba due to Cuba’s embargoed status.

Imbert had said Government couldn’t wait any longer and the ferry would be brought to T&T immediately and the planned works would be done on a phased basis in between the vessel’s Tobago ferry operations.

However, a subsequent Nidco report statement last weekend revealed the seller’s retrofitting upgrades would still be done in Cuba and the vessel was expected to depart Cuba on July 10. Following arrival in Trinidad, the owner’s (Government) proposed enhancements will be done on a phased basis while the vessel is in service, Nidco added.

Yesterday in Parliament, Sinanan, rather than Imbert, speaking on the issue, reiterated the work being done in Cuba is the seller’s retrofitting. This involves the front canopy of the vessel and other aspects. After a four to six day sail from Cuba, leaving July 10, it’s expected in T&T by July 16, he added.

Sinanan said he’d be able to give the total approximate cost of the vessel when it arrives.

On another query involving transport, Finance Minister Imbert said a Caribbean Airlines aircraft is currently in the process of undergoing a full overhaul. He said this takes a month.

He was replying to UNC MP Fazal Karim query on whether a CAL aircraft to be used in the upcoming busy travel period was sabotaged. Imbert said all aircraft are in full compliance with Civil Aviation law. Karim gave the date, June, when the aircraft in question was taken off the route. But Imbert didn’t address the question of sabotage.

Source: (Gail Alexander)