Is there any airline more sad than Air Jamaica these days? I think not. The latest fight for control of the airline shows just how bad things are there and in Jamaica in general.
In case you haven’t been watching (most people haven’t), Air Jamaica has really struggled to find its balance for years. It has limped through the years as others have started to encroach further upon its Jamaica – US business. Lately, the Jamaican government’s goal has been to privatize the airline, but it’s been slow to happen.
There was discussion for awhile about Spirit getting involved with Air Jamaica, and apparently that has made the employees of Air Jamaica angry. They have decided to take a page from the Delta playbook – “Keep Air Jamaica My Air Jamaica.”
A bunch of employees have formed Mayday Air Jamaica, and they’re trying to prevent Spirit from getting involved. They just want to make sure it stays in the hands of Jamaicans. Why?
Air Jamaica is our one remaining national treasure, our only resource to hand down to the children of Jamaica in hopes of a better future for them.
Is Jamaica really that awful? I mean, is it possible that the only thing they have going for them is a small, money-losing airline? Sheesh. By the way, if their goal is to be able to hand Air Jamaica down to their children, they aren’t doing a very good job.
In the very same release, Mayday Air Jamaica says that if Spirit doesn’t walk away from Air Jamaica, the employees will picket the airline in Miami on December 15. To this, they say “Sampson is staging the peaceful protest knowing full well its potential to disrupt holiday travel at one of the nation’s busiest hubs.” Well, that makes perfect sense now. If you want to hand down an airline to your children, you should definitely try to hurt it financially. Tough love.
So what is their solution to this quandary? I couldn’t make this up:
In addition to asking Spirit Airlines to withdraw its offer to buy Air Jamaica and publicly disclose the terms of its purchase deal, Mayday Air Jamaica is asking the Jamaican government to sell the airline to the employees at the same terms, at a 20% discount designed to show support for the people of Jamaica.
Let’s review. The employees of Air Jamaica have no idea how much Spirit is willing to pay for Air Jamaica, but they say they’ll agree to the same terms . . . um, minus 20%.
Can we assume that the 20% discount will be made up for with stellar management skills? Not if these (now former) Air Jamaica employees who have been accused of embezzlement are part of this crew.
Sad, just sad.