Editorial Staff
3 months ago

Editorial Staff
3 months ago

Statement from Mr. Osmond E. Lake of Sunrise Airways (Dominica) Ltd., on Delay Issues and Investment Plans in Antigua and Barbuda

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STATEMENT FROM MR. OSMOND E. LAKE, ACCOUNTABLE MANAGER, SUNRISE AIRWAYS (D0MINICA) LTD (AIRLINE UNDER CERTIFICATION)

As the Accountable Manager of Sunrise Airways (Dominica) Ltd, I thought it necessary to issue the following statement.

As part of consultations held with various stakeholders regarding major investment plans in Antigua and Barbuda by the principals of Sunrise Airways (Dominica) Ltd., discussions were held with the CEO of the ABAA, Ms. Euleta Francis, and other key stakeholders and agencies. This statement seeks to provide a summary of a meeting held to brief the Prime Minister on November 9, 2023. 

Sequence of Events between Sunrise Airways (Dominica) Ltd. and Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority (ABAA). 

  • On or about June 20, 2023 I met with Ms. Euleta Francis, CEO of ABAA.
  • At that meeting I submitted a verbal request (followed by email) to rent space in the old Airport Terminal Building for Administrative Offices for Sunrise Airways (Dominica) Ltd.
  • Following several reminders, I was advised on November 6, 2023, that a unit of approximately 400 square feet was all that was available. This was inadequate for our purposes and we proceeded to seek and lease alternative office facilities.
  • In the telephone conversation of Nov. 6, 2023, I advised Ms. Francis that the Sunrise Maintenance Provider, Sahara Aviation Maintenance of South Africa, was very interested in replicating their Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO) in Antigua with potential to increase its ratings to a Maintenance Repair Organization (MRO). Sahara Maintenance Organisation is being contracted to provide maintenance support for Sunrise Flight Operations.
  • The CEO was very enthusiastic because this proposal fell within the scope of the overall development plan of the V.C.Bird International Airport. Ms. Francis advised that she was currently reviewing a USD 100 million loan facility and would return to discuss this exciting project in two weeks.

Meeting of Thursday November 9, 2023, with Prime Minister Browne.

  • In a meeting with Prime Minister Browne on Thursday Nov. 9, 2023, I presented an overview of the combined Sunrise Airways/Sahara Aviation Maintenance structure and briefly described our overall business and aviation model.
  • Although very keen, the Prime Minister meticulously questioned me about the ability of our Company to deliver on such a sizable undertaking and I in turn, explained that Sahara Aviation Maintenance is the largest Embraer maintenance provider worldwide and this project would undoubtedly, be a boost to Antigua and Barbuda’s overall economy.
  • The Prime Minister offered his full support and it is at this point that I explained some of the unresolved delay issues – already mentioned above.
  • The Prime Minister then telephoned Ms. Francis and in a very businesslike manner queried the reasons for the delays. I recall the P.M. asking Ms. Francis “why two weeks and why not 2 days”.            Francis explained to the PM that she was currently reviewing a USD 100 million loan facility. The Prime Minister accepted the point that the Sunrise application could not be more immediately addressed and the conversation ended cordially.  
  • Following the meeting with the Prime Minister, and seeking to ensure that I maintain good relations with the CEO and ABAA, in the interest of the Company I represent, I called Francis to reassure her that my meeting with the Prime Minister was not intended to undermine her position but rather, to brief the Prime Minister on the introduction of Sunrise Airways into the region.

2 Comments

  1. Fed up

    Ok, so you na hear she say he call she back sometime later? What is the purpose of this publication Sir. We can read.

    Reply
  2. Steven C. Mayers

    “Where there is no VISION, the PEOPLE PERISH”.
    There are many people who do not realize the STRATEGIC POSITION of Antigua and Barbuda, being a re-fueling midpoint between Mother Africa and North and South America, also. Europe and South America.
    As far as AVIATION is concerned, the Nation of Antigua and Barbuda is WORTH MORE THAN GOLD.
    With the addition of Barbuda’s airport achieving INTERNATIONAL STATUS, the Nation will now have the capacity to allow investors like “Sahara Aviation Maintenance of South Africa”, the opportunity to establish a GLOBAL MID-ATLANTIC HUB, which for them would be a dream come true, since they already offer their services WORLDWIDE.
    Please do not underestimate “SUNRISE AIRLINE” of Dominica, nor its investors. The only thing that is holding them back, is the fact that the Dominican Airport is neither sufficiently developed or safe enough to allow for their expansion to larger aircraft, thus limiting more distant service. The nation of Antigua and Barbuda, is geographically destined to be their HUB of Operations, while their Administrative Headquarters could remain in Dominica.
    Look to the future. If the. USA has abandoned any portion of the old base, there will be premises that can be leased to Sahara Aviation Maintenance, every entity that comes for Expansion, will be paying rent/lease to the government. (Income), Hotel and B+ B capacity will be increased (jobs, construction and Service industry),
    Later on there will be training classes and even possibly, Schools.(Technical jobs).
    Also, please do not consider Sunrise Airlines a negative competitor to LIAT. LIAT needs all the competition it can get, to improve its reputation. Instead, Sunrise Airlines should be considered another carrier to facilitate the influx of visitors, investors, and repatriates returning home.
    Expansion is a WIN, WIN SITUATION for all concerned.
    Either we grow with the times and technology, or we will become “LEFT BEHIND.”

    Reply

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