Rhuggenaath: “We will help InselAir, but with a certain level of involvement”
WILLEMSTAD – In an interview the Minister of Economic Development, Eugene Rhuggenaath indicated that the Government of Curaçao will assist the cash-strapped InselAir financially but with a certain level of involvement.
“If you want to inject money into the airline you have to have your own people in there to see to keep an eye on what will be done with your investment and the situation.”
The Government is temporarily overseeing the airline’s operations with the help of an international interim manager who is to prepare a stabilization plan. The company will receive a bridging credit under strict conditions, as called for in a unanimous motion passed by the elected representatives.
The Minister indicated before that the Government will not participate in an airline. This is certainly a deviation from what has been said before. “This is common interest. We have to maintain the connectivity between the islands and other destinations. Helping InselAir means investing in the economy,” said Rhuggenaath.
“We did not place the airline under curatorship. When you say that it will scare passengers and other possible commercial partners away. This will only make the situation worse. But we will be involved in the management of the company just to make sure that the public funds are used wisely.”
The Minister also said that the exact amount to be provided is still to be determined as part of the new plan. The plan will be presented to the government in about a month. But for now, the coming month’s expenses will be covered with an advance. The search for a strategic partner must also begin in the next six to nine months, to then be completed within a year.
InselAir emitted an internal memo stating that as part of the loan agreement, the government asked for a certain level of involvement and influence in management and supervision of InselAir. It is expected that this will be achieved by the government’s appointment of additional positions in the supervisory board and management, however, such positions must be discussed and agreed upon by the current shareholders together with the government.
The memo also states that there are currently no proposals nor discussions on such appointments with the shareholders of InselAir and therefore, any current speculations regarding how the involvement will be implemented and any changes in supervisory board management are there incorrect.