Here is the press article. Look at the bottom
(From The Trinidad Guardian, 27 September, 2001)
(Trinidad) Foreign airlines seek help from Government.
Transport and Tourism Minister, Senator Jearlean John has said she had received requests from international airlines seeking this Government's assistance in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US and the negative impact it had on international air transport.
The minister, speaking with the Business Guardian during the Senate's tea break on Tuesday, said up to that time, though, she had received no official request from BWIA West Indies Airways for financial assistance.
"Of course (Conrad) Aleong (BWIA's president and CEO) and I, have been talking about the situation, but nothing has reached my office yet," the Minister said.
Last week Friday, Aleong and BWIA chairman Lawrence Duprey, said the airline lost about US$300,000 to US$400,000 per day in revenue during the five days the US Government shut down its airports following the attacks. John said if and when a request came in (from BWIA) the Government would have to "look at it".
"We have got requests from other international airlines. And, I understand there is a rule in IATA (International Air Transport Authority) the jist of which states that if a government gives to one airline then it has to give to all."
While there has been concern expressed about the future of the airline in the midst of the worldwide fear that appears to have gripped passengers now adverse to flying, John has a different view.
"I would encourage Aleong now to work on a plan that would entice friends and family-type passengers to fly back to the Caribbean for the winter and Carnival seasons. After what happened in New York in particular, I would imagine most people with ties here would want to come back to where they feel safe.
"A lot of people would want to come back home at that time to be close to loved ones. That, to me, could be BWIA's opportunity to offer some kind of special package for them."
The minister also said the same kind of thinking could work for the tourism sector.
Even before September 11, her Ministry and Tidco, she explained, had been working to bring increased airlift to Tobago in particular.
The Government, she said, has been successful in getting Monarch Airlines, out of Britain, to fly to Tobago for a 12-month period starting this winter. The airline is expected to bring an additional 18,000 passengers over that period.
Air France too, has agreed to add Piarco to its Caribbean route. Condor Airlines, out of Frankfurt, will also return to the Tobago route during that winter period.
"There is an opportunity for our tourism sector. Trinidad and Tobago, especially Tobago, by virtue of our geographical position can become a preferred destination for holiday seekers who are looking for safe spots."