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Virgin Atlantic Providing Increased Airlift for Barbados on Heels of Thomas Cook Collapse

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Virgin Atlantic Airways will now provide increased flights, totaling 30,000 seats, to Barbados starting November 1.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday
October 3, 2019
– Government
has announced its plan to deal with any major fall out due to the recent collapse
of Thomas Cook Airlines.

Minister of
Tourism and International Transport, Kerrie Symmonds has revealed that Virgin
Atlantic Airways will now provide increased flights, totalling 30,000 seats, to
Barbados over the upcoming winter season.

When Thomas
Cook Airlines folded on September 23, it put some local hoteliers at risk of
losing over 60 per cent of their winter bookings. Symmonds noted that Thomas
Cook was also an important partner to the island’s cruise sector and disclosed
that the British cruise line P&O Cruises, which homeports in Barbados,
stood to suffer as it depended heavily on airlift from the defunct British
airline.

“Thomas Cook
provided Barbados with 23,500 passengers over the last winter season and was
contractually obligated to provide 27,000 seats across winter….Of that maximum
capacity of seats, we would have shared the service with Antigua, St. Lucia and
Tobago,” he said.

The Tourism
Minister said following discussions with Virgin Atlantic, the airline announced
that Barbados would benefit from increased airlift.

There will
be an additional weekly flight from Manchester with 455 seats; and two flights
from London Gatwick which will bring the total number of weekly flights from
Gatwick to nine during the winter season.

“The 27,000
seats which had been put into jeopardy immediately upon the collapse of Thomas Cook
are now defended and we will be in a position in fact to benefit from 30,000
seats via Virgin Atlantic to Barbados, and they will not be shared by any other
destination,” Symmonds said.

“For those
who wish to access those other Caribbean countries, the opportunity will exist
for them to fly to Barbados for onward connections to those other CARICOM
member states, so that Barbados will act as the hub in the Eastern Caribbean
for all Virgin Atlantic passengers who would have been using these flights and
obviously all dislocated Thomas Cook passengers.”

The Tourism
Minister added that discussions were underway with Virgin Atlantic to provide
mix-used scheduled flights to Barbados.

“We are
anticipating that we would be able to have mix-used scheduled flights so that a
percentage, [of] an aircraft [let’s say] carrying 240 passengers, half of them
maybe set aside to carry the cruise passengers and then the other half would be
for those regularly scheduled flights for long stay.

“The
important thing has been to use the increased capacity to make sure we are able
to adequately satisfy the demand on the cruise side… now that Thomas Cook is
completely obliterated from the landscape,” he said.

Symmonds
further noted that while he was in Ireland last week, he and other tourism
officials met with Aer Lingus to discuss the possibility of partnering with the
Irish airline to provide both scheduled and chartered flights to fill the void
left by Thomas Cook’s collapse.

He revealed
that P&O Cruises had also begun discussions with Aer Lingus and that “they
are satisfied the discussions are going well”.

“Aer Lingus
is a potentially useful partner for Barbados. It comes out of Ireland; it is
well known….It has very close links with the upper middle class who are doing a
lot of long-term leisure travels these days,” he noted, adding that the numbers
out of Ireland needed to be sufficiently stimulated.

The Minister
added that the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association was looking to launch a
Barbados Cares Campaign geared towards offering dislocated Thomas Cook
passengers in the UK market discounted vacations under certain circumstances.

“The simple philosophy is it is better to have the business at a discount than not to have the business at all,” Symmonds surmised.

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Haiti Officials to Investigate Alleged Rapes of 10 Female Inmates – The Haitian Times

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Main Road of Gonaives, Haiti. Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Haitian officials are investigating rape allegations in a makeshift jail in Gonaives. According to a report by the Washington Post, a group of male inmates allegedly raped 10 female inmates in the Gonaives jail.

“Prosecutor Sérard Gazius told The Associated Press that more than 50 men broke out of their cells last week and overpowered police officers guarding inmates, adding that an unknown number of them are suspected of raping 10 of 12 women being held in the same facility but in separate cells.

“He said the male and female inmates were being held in a former United Nations facility since the original prison was destroyed years ago and a new one hasn’t been built. Gazius said the women were scared and have yet to identify the suspects, adding that they have received medical care.”

The women, who have not been convicted, were being held on charges ranging from robberies to attempted murder.

Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.

Haitian Times

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Former Antigua Regulator Appears in US Court on Fraud Charges Days After Being Extradited

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Leroy King is now in jail in the US on fraud charges.

HOUSTON, Texas, Wednesday November 13, 2019 – The former chief of Antigua and Barbuda’s
Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) Leroy King has made his first
court appearance in the United States, days after being extradited from the
twin-island nation to face charges for his alleged role in connection with the
Stanford International Bank (SIB) US$7 billion investment fraud scheme.

King, 74, was the last remaining defendant in the SIB Ponzi scheme. He had been fighting his extradition since he was charged in June 2009.

He appeared before US
Magistrate Judge Dena Hanovice Palermo in Houston, Texas, yesterday. 

King was charged along with Allen Stanford and several others. The indictment charges him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail, wire and securities fraud; seven counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of mail fraud, one counts each of conspiracy to obstruct and obstruction of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation; and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

It is alleged that King
accepted more than US$100,000 in bribes from Stanford in exchange for ignoring
the actual value of SIB’s assets. He also allegedly assisted Stanford and
others in obstructing the SEC’s investigation into the bank.

A federal jury found
Stanford guilty in June 2012 for his role in orchestrating the 20-year
investment fraud scheme in which he misappropriated US$7 billion from SIB to
finance his personal businesses. He is serving a 110-year prison sentence.

Five others were also convicted for their roles in the scheme and received sentences ranging from three to 20 years in federal prison.

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Haiti

Haïti – FLASH : Séisme au large de Saint-Marc

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Haïti – FLASH : Séisme au large de Saint-Marc
15/11/2019 13:35:50

Haïti - FLASH : Séisme au large de Saint-Marc

Ce vendredi 15 novembre 2019, un séisme de magnitude 3.4 sur l’échelle de Richter a été enregistré à 10h24 et 50 secondes du matin, à 37 km au large de Saint-Marc, 32km au Nord de l’île de la Gonâve, 115 km au Nord-Ouest de Port-au-Prince, avec un épicentre à une profondeur de 31.1km.

Rappelons qu’Haïti est situé au milieu d’un vaste système de failles géologiques résultant du mouvement des plaques tectoniques des Caraïbes et de l’Amérique du Nord, ce qui explique les fréquentes secousses sismiques au pays.

HL/ HaïtiLibre


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