Welcome to the 94th instalment of the Caribbean Aviation Thread, also the first Caribbean Thread of the new year.This instalment is dedicated to resilient island of Montserrat, from which our newest regular contributer (817Dreamliner) originates.
Montserrat was sighted by Christopher Columbus during his second voyage in November 1493. He named it Santa Maria de Montserrate after the Abbey of Montserrate near Barcelona. In 1632, the island became a British colony although the first settlers were largely Irish. More Irish settlers followed, driven out of Virginia in an anti-Catholic purge.
Montserrat is an internally self-governing UK overseas territory. Government is executed through a governor appointed by the British monarch, an executive council, which has the general control and direction of government, and a legislative council. The governor retains responsibility for external affairs, defence, internal security, the public service (as head of the civil service) and offshore finance.
The executive council is presided over by the governor and also includes the chief minister, the financial secretary, the attorney-general and three other ministers. The legislative council has nine directly elected members and two official members. Elections are held at least every five years.
In 1989, the constitution, formerly comprising various bills and acts, was consolidated into one document and came into force on 13 February 1990. (www.thecommonwealth.org)
In the 1980s, the main economic activities were agriculture and tourism (especially luxury villa holidays) and light engineering. Hurricane Hugo destroyed 90% of infrastructure in September 1989, severely damaging the tourism and agriculture sectors.
Montserrat once again suffered another major setback when volcanic activity began in 1995. Montserrat’s economy and infrastructure have been rebuilt and continues reconstruction in the 2000s, including a new airport (John A. Osborne Airport opened in 2005) and ferry port.
FlyMontserrat Airways was began operations in 2009 with service to ANU. In April of 2011, FlyMontserrat carried it's 10 000th passenger. The airline currently operates a fleet of three Britten Norman BN-2A Islanders.
Topic Air of Belize to start BZE-LCE 2x weekly starting March 4.
AC commences service to SKB with A319 from YYZ 1x weekly.
CAL looking at flights to DEL with extensive AI partnership.
UVF experiences fuel shortage causing some flights to divert to BGI
CAL to begin daily POS-BGI-SLU service on Jan. 24 with ATR.
AC looking at nonstop flight with A319 from YYZ to GEO.
SY to begin daily PBM-GEO-MIA with B733 in April.
EZjet of Guyana commences services with B762 from JFK to GEO.
Fly Jamacia poised to commence service from JFK and YYZ to KIN and GEO with N-registered B752.
CAL to wet-lease Atlas Air 744 "Soca Jumbo Jet" for Carnival season. To operate POS-JFK as BW 500/501
CUR unfortunately downgraded to CAT 2 rating by US authorities.
Redjet rumoured to be experiencing financial difficulties, blames BGI authorities for its woes.
Redjet drastically reduces frequencies on is POS,GEO and KIN routes.
Two wet-leased Swiftair ATR-72-500s operating for BW return to MAD.
CM to begin PTY-CUR service 4x weekly (3x E190 and 1X 73G) on June 10.
DE to commence 1x weekly VIE-VRA service with B763W Nov. 6.