[Turks & Caicos] Sky Cruise could start flying before winter

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[Turks & Caicos] Sky Cruise could start flying before winter

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[Turks & Caicos] Sky Cruise could start flying before winter
Vivian Tyson, Senior SUN Editor
Mon, Sep 17, 2012

Sky Cruise Airways – the locally-owned airline making its bid to fly nationally, regionally and internationally, could begin its operations before the end of the fall, a reliable source told The SUN.

The airline, which this newspaper understands to have cleared all its regulatory hurdles, is now in the middle of its recruitment exercise, and the full complement of staff should be in place possibly before the end of September.

A source close to the airline’s operation said that some of the individuals being recruited were either currently employed in the local aviation industry or once worked in the area.

The airline was scheduled to make its inaugural takeoff on or about Easter this year, but its efforts were hampered by local aviation bureaucracy.

After almost two years of making its bid, Sky Cruise was recently granted clearance from both the Local Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA), in order for it to be fully certified to operate in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The source said that Sky Cruise will operate two flights out of Florida, including from Fort Lauderdale. It is also scheduled to fly to a number of regional destinations, including Jamaica (Kingston and Montego Bay), Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Locally, it will fly between Grand Turk and Providenciales. Sky Cruise will become the third domestic carrier and the second to operate out of the Turks and Caicos Islands in almost four years. The now defunct Sky King Airways, which was bought by leading domestic airlines Air Turks and Caicos, is the other airline that flew regionally.

Sky Cruise Airways is owned by Sky Blue Aviation Limited, a company which was registered on April 8th 2011 with offices at P.O.B 209, Logberg Corporate Services, Chancery Court, on Leeward Highway, which is the law office of TWA Marcelin Wolf.

Shaun Malcolm, former Chairman for the People’s Democratic Movement, is one of the local partners in the venture along with Joshua Harvey.

The SUN has been reliably informed that Sky Cruise Airways is being backed by a consortium of exceedingly wealthy Canadians with vast knowledge and experience in the international aviation business.

The new airline plans to operate 19-seater DH6, 30-seater Jetstreams and CRJ-2000/700 airplanes, with varying capacities of between 50 and 72 seats.

After Sky Cruise went public with its bid to operate locally, it was met with strong opposition from its future competitor Air Turks and Caicos, which told an open forum convened by the ATLA and the CAA, that the domestic market could not sustain another airline because it was shrinking and operational costs were always rising.

Air Turks and Caicos also told the forum that Sky Cruise could put the domestic aviation industry in a tailspin by undercutting airfares now being charged by that airline with prices masquerading as introductory fares, but which could become permanent.

The introduction of Sky Cruise into the local and regional marketplace should bring competition especially to the routes that Air Turks and Caicos currently flies. And customers could see a play-out similar to that of the telecommunications industry, with the introduction of Digicel that signaled the dismantling of the then Cable and Wireless’ monopoly.

Air Turks and Caicos already has domestic competition in Caicos Express, which originally operated between Providenciales and Grand Turk via Salt Cay, but was granted license earlier this year to operate directly between the two major islands.
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