(Now Grenada) – The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation wishes to inform the public that we are tirelessly working to facilitate flights in and out of Grenada, now that our borders are reopened.
Understanding the challenges posed in recent months by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has outlined certain requirements that airlines must go through in order to operate, according to the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCA) standards and procedures.
In recent days, it was brought to the Ministry’s attention that the OCL Barbados Ltd, operating as One Caribbean, had proceeded to advertise, schedule and book people on regional flights into and out of Grenada. The ministry has always been clear that operators need to go through the appropriate licensing process for Grenada. One Caribbean has not yet done so, and were advised repeatedly that they should, before they could operate.
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation is, therefore, deeply concerned about the manner in which the management of One Caribbean has conducted its business in recent days, in regard to the operation of flights into and out of Grenada.
On Monday, 20 July 2020, a meeting was convened between the CEO of the Grenada Airport Authority, the Senior Civil Aviation officer of the Ministry of Tourism and the CEO of One Caribbean to discuss the issue, and the guidelines were clearly reiterated. It was agreed that the airline should desist from operating into Grenada until the licencing process is complete.
It was very disturbing to discover that the airline had already posted schedules and had engaged in negotiations with people desiring to enter or leave the country, without the appropriate standard procedure being concluded, as advised and required.
We were informed of 3 landings in Grenada on the weekend. Each time, Civil Aviation made compassionate exemptions because we were concerned about the welfare of our citizens who had booked those flights. One Caribbean was explicitly reminded that they needed the appropriate licence to operate continuous flights. It has become obvious that One Caribbean has not heeded the requirements, and that we must insist on compliance with the requisite procedure before they are allowed to continue their operations in and out of Grenada.
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has established relations with Caribbean Airlines, interCaribbean Airways and SVG Air, all of which are complying with the aviation requirements for operation. Flight schedules for these airlines are already being posted on their respective websites.
We continue to hold dialogue with all stakeholders, including One Caribbean, and we expect that increased airlift, regionally and internationally, will become available, as we endeavour to bring our sons and daughters home, and welcome friends and visitors.