Airport officials in Grenada have confirmed that its fares from a number of airlines have been redirected to a special account, following an US court order, and there are fears that the airport may not be able to operate much longer.
Chairman of the Grenada Airport Authority Rodney George has confirmed that Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, British Airways, and Delta have been forced to comply with the court order to pay money owed to the Grenada Government into an account setup by Taipei.
This follows a lingering dispute between St. George’s and Taipei which has led to a US Court giving an order mandating the airlines to pay money owed to the Grenada Government into an account setup by Taipei.
“It is quite unfortunate but it is happening,” said George in a local radio interview.
“All the major airlines that are flying to Grenada with the exception of Caribbean airlines. Virgin Atlantic took effect three weeks ago. British Airways and Delta two weeks ago”.
Taiwan had commenced legal action to recover EC 70 million dollars (US25m) in default loans from the Taipei Export Import Bank shortly after Grenada broke diplomatic relations in 2005.
According to George the airport authority has already lost about half a million US dollars in landing fees, and taxes normally collected by the airlines on behalf of the Government.
Finance Minister Nazim Burke has already been appraised of the situation and George said they are depending heavily on the government to help them out of this financial situation.
Cruise fees are also being withheld from Grenada’s Ports Authorities, under the same order of the US Court..
Information Minister Glen Noel confirmed late last year that the fees cruise ships normally pay the state are now being deposited in a special account because of the loan dispute.©