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No crisis

caribbeanairlinesboeing737PORT OF SPAIN — The Caribbean Airlines board has directed that its acting chief executive Robert Corbie provide a report on why the company has to potentially write off $200 million in cargo revenue and credit card fraud.

Chairman Rabindra Moonan, in a telephone interview yesterday, observed that those losses are the responsibility of the company’s management.

He said that matter was top of the agenda at CAL’s marathon board meeting at the company’s head offices in Piarco yesterday.

Those losses are exclusive of the unaudited $704 million loss which the national carrier recorded for 2012 which Finance Minister Larry Howai presented in the Senate on Tuesday.

Questioned on who would be held accountable for the losses, Moonan said a decision would be taken once Corbie presents his report. Corbie, who is out of the country, is expected back to work at CAL next Monday.

“We are looking at it from a Human Resource and a legal perspective. We do not want to take a knee-jerk reaction. That was within the remit of the management and it was not attended to for years before it as red-flagged by the chief financial officer,” he said.

Corrective action

He said the board has taken corrective action to deal with the cargo and credit card issues, which have plagued the company for the past two years. He said CAL suffered from a lack of policies in place and the board has accepted the recommendations of the chief financial officer to implement new systems to ensure greater accountability.

“It was why we finished so late,” he said.

Moonan said CAL’s directors Gizelle Russell, Venosh Sagewan-Maraj, Avedanand Persad and Denis Lalor were present at yesterday’s meeting with the exception of vice-chairman Mohan Jaikaran. He said Jaikaran was out of the country as he had medical check-ups to attend to. Moonan told the Express he was cognizant of the public’s negative opinion on Jaikaran’s request for upgrade for certain passengers but as far as he’s concerned, that’s a “non-issue.” He said upgrades done at airlines throughout the world and “certain board decisions are taken to ensure there is no apparent conflict of interest.”

Even with the multi-million dollar losses, as far as Moonan is concerned there is “no crisis at CAL.”

He said Howai’s figures were for the company’s performance for 2012 and it was “historical news” and was not reflective of the present state of the company.

He said there has been a “circus of figures” reported but he was focused on US$69.6 million loss for 2012 which the company is seeking to rectify. (Express)

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