PM insists CAL performed "remarkably well" over Easter weekend; Nafessa disagrees

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says Caribbean Airlines worked the airbridge "remarkably well" over the Easter weekend and added that it was wrong to say that Tobago was cut off from Trinidad.

This comes amid complains that hundreds were left stranded at the Crown Point airport for days awaiting a return to Trinidad.

Dr Rowley, who was in Tobago for the Easter weekend, told today's post-Cabinet news conference that there were 3,000 seats that were not used over the period.

He said he was in constant communication with the management of CAL and the Ministry of Transport and said that while a "large body of people wanted to come back within a short window", CAL performed admirably.

He said the reason why there were so many people coming back, was because CAL took them to Tobago in the first place.

"The airbridge has worked remarkably well. It is incorrect to say that Tobago was cut off," the prime minister said.

He said CAL knew it had to fill the gap left by the absence of the ferries on the seabridge and managed to do so.

It is not a view shared by all members of the PNM.

Earlier this week, former Mayor of Port-of-Spain and PNM member, Louis Lee Sing criticised the situation at Crown Point.

On Thursday, another long-time PNM member, Nafessa Mohammed criticised the situation with the airbridge.

"This airbridge has really collapsed. Since midday yesterday, folks have been waiting to get on a flight to return to Trinidad. At midnight last night, they said no more stand byes, you have to come back and validate your ticket then put your name on the list again," Mohammed said via a Facebook post.

She added: "Since 4:45 am, waiting in line to get into Caribbean Airlines Office to renew the tickets. 70 people ahead of you and you haven’t reached to the counter to get your name on a list.
Meanwhile, you can’t even hear or see a plane coming in. Who is really monitoring and helping to deal with this crisis??? Why can’t arrangements be made to send a jet to clear the pile up once or twice during the day. This is not rocket science! This is a serious indictment on the management of the affairs of our country. I will be criticized for speaking out but too many people suffering. It is totally unacceptable and inexcusable! Power is ephemeral and the writing is on the wall for all who have ears to hear and eyes to see. You cannot run a country on the basis of public relations ...This is madness!"

 

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