There is pressure on the government of Trinidad and Tobago to come to the rescue of Caribbean airline BWIA as it holds crucial meetings over its future.
Last week, two of its eight aircraft were seized in Miami by leasing company ILFC, which demanded TRD$33 million (USD$5.4 million) in unpaid fees. The government, which has a one third stake in the carrier, then stepped in with financial aid.
Only further government intervention is likely to save the carrier from bankruptcy, Planning and Development Minister Keith Rowley is reported as saying. The airline is holding crisis talks with creditors this week.
ILFC, which leases seven of BWIA`s fleet, is owed a total of around TRD$122 million by the airline. Other creditors are owed TRD$590 million.
BWIA, like other carriers, hit major problems as a result of the September 11 terrorist atrocities in the US. Its costs have risen steeply while passenger numbers have plunged.