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Dionisio D’Aguilar, the Minister for Bahamasair and Tommy Turnquest, the Chairman of the Board have some tall splaining to do.  They dropped the ball with Bahamasair and are now in the embarrassing position of in the middle of the tourist season, three of the airline’s jets cannot fly into the United States. It has caused tremendous expense and inconvenience.

What has the Minister to say about the matter?  Well he told the press that Bahamasair made a mistake.  In other words don’t blame me, it ain’t me. 

So what had the Chairman to say.  He said that he was blindsided when he heard that the plane could not fly into the States.  After all, said he, the Board had signed off on this from the summer time and the deal to complete the job fell through in September and he did not find out until lately. So in other words it ain’t him either. 

Both men have done what Leader of the Opposition Philip Davis said at his press conference on Tuesday 7 January 2020 was a move like Pontius Pilot. They tried to wash their hands of it.

What is the back story to this?

The Leader of the Opposition is correct when he called on the Minister and the Chairman to take the political responsibility for their mistake. It is not good enough to say “it wasn’t me”.  They made the decisions.  They did not follow up.  They dropped the ball.

Some are suggesting that the problem is the Deputy Managing Director of the airline Betty Benoit, who has such great political connections to the Chairman, that no one can countermand what she does. She has run the airline into the problems it now faces, they say, and Tracy Cooper, the Managing Director is unable to control her.  He may in fact be afraid to do anything because she is so well connected to the Chairman and the FNM politicians.

So in the first instance the Board has sent the Director of Maintenance on leave.  Scapegoat number one.  But the real deal they say is the Board and the FNM are searching around to fire Tracy Cooper, because he was appointed by the PLP and they suspect he may have PLP leanings.  Ms. Benoit will then have full rein.

Clue to this was The Punch, the down-market rag, who ran a front page story in which they said that it was not the fault of  the politicians: the Minister and Chairman but an operational fault.  They carried Mr. Cooper’s picture on the front page. The Punch has become the mouthpiece of Hubert Minnis, the Prime Minister.  So brace for it. Your read it here first.

It’s the people’s time and no one is safe from the FNM’s attacks. We support Mr. Cooper and the staff at Bahamasair against these wicked FNMs.