Cabinet has waived concession fees of US$4,257,000 million to MBJ Airports Limited, which has been affected by COVID-19 after restrictions placed on travel to and from the island.
MBJ Airports operates the Sangster International Airport (SIA) in Montego Bay, St James and according to Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Fayval Williams, made a force majeure claim on the government, which the Cabinet approved.
Williams, who was speaking at the post Cabinet press conference on Wednesday said MBJ Airports pays a monthly concession fee of US$473,000 and the waiver is for the period April 1 to December 31 last year.
Williams also said that Cabinet has also waived the interests payable on deferred concession fee payments by PAC Kingston Airports, operators of the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston. This is from March to May 2020.
PAC Kingston Airports had also made force majeure claims on the government. It has a 25-year lease on NMIA, which started in 2019 with MBJ Airports having a 30-year agreement on SIA that began in 2003.
“The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had significantly impacted operations of the two major international airports, commencing with restrictions imposed on travel to and from several countries. Both airports reported a significant drop in air traffic,” Williams said.
In March, at the onset of COVID-19, the government closed the island’s sea and air ports, to stem the spread. The phased reopening of the island’s ports started in June.