Third TCI airline approved

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Third TCI airline approved

Unread post by bimjim » ... -5063.html

Third TCI airline approved
December 28, 2011

Newly incorporated Sky Cruise Airlines has received its licence to operate in and from the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is the third airline that plans to offer air services in the TCI.

The oldest operation is currently called Air Turks and Caicos (ATC), which is headed by Lyndon Gardiner, nephew of now disgraced former premier Michael Misick. Gardiner’s prospects for growth have now received a temporary setback with this new competition. Gardiner had earlier pleaded before the Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) that there was not an adequate amount of business to support anyone other than his operation.

When the Misick-led government ruled TCI from 2003 through August 2009, ATC was heavily subsidized by the Progressive National Party (PNP) government. Despite claims that he was not prospering he was able to buy out the routes of Sky King Airlines owned by Haitian national Harold Charles. Rumours have recently surfaced that Sky King was in financial trouble when the buyout occurred.

The second airline is Caicos Express, which is owned and operated by two partners -- Richie Arthur, the former local pilot for Misick, and another gentleman of Haitian descent who carries the nickname FedEx.

The new airline Sky Cruise is fronted by former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) Shaun Malcolm. Sources indicate that Malcolm is, however, only a figurehead and other Caicos island belongers and foreign interests are factoring the operational plans and finances.

One item of interest to islanders and tourists is the firm’s announced plan to open service between Fort Lauderdale and Providenciales (Provo). However, it has been reported that Spirit Airlines is considering resuming service on that route, as American Airlines, which serves Provo from its Miami hub, raised rates and restrictions when it filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection recently.
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