Turks and Caicos Court Grants Injunction in Airport Ground-Handling Dispute



PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands — The Supreme Court of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) granted an injunction on Friday, legally halting the effort by the Turks and Caicos Airport Authority (TCIAA) and Servisair SAS to begin ground handling services at Providenciales Airport with a new joint venture company called Servisair PLS. 

While the injunction is in place, Servisair PLS must not start operations until the Supreme Court decides whether the joint venture is lawful. 

The injunction comes on an application brought by Flight Support Ltd, represented by Misick and Stanbrook. The concerns centered on TCIAA acting as both the regulator and a competitor in ground handling services at Providenciales International Airport, thus creating unfair advantages for the joint venture company. The concern being that this could bankrupt any competitors because of a lack of a level playing field and creating a monopolistic position, which would be to the detriment of the traveling public. 

Flight Support was joined in the complaint by Albray Butterfield of TCA Handling and Shaun Malcolm of SkyBlue Ltd as additional interested parties. TCA Handling provides ground handling services to American Airlines and SkyBlue was denied permission to enter the ground handling business by the TCIAA, whilst the Authority advanced their joint venture with Servisair. 

In an oral ruling, the court acknowledged the application for judicial review raised serious concerns about the lawfulness of the joint venture. These concerns included the lack of proper investigation by the TCIAA into whether a joint venture was needed. Further concerns included the inherent conflict of interest in the regulator being involved in commercial competition with those that it regulates. 

Documentation submitted for consideration included a joint venture agreement granting Servisair PLS Ltd free access to facilities and equipment and waiving import taxes, import fees, and work permit fees. These special considerations would be granted by the TCIAA, which would also serve to financially benefit them as a partner in the operation. The court agreed that there was a possibility of the joint venture having the effect of creating an eventual monopoly. 

“We feel strongly it is highly irregular for TCIAA to be placed in the conflicting position of being both a regulator of Servisair and having a financial interest in its success,” said Lyndon Gardiner, founder and chairman of Flight Support. “This backdoor nationalizing of ground handling can only lead to higher prices and less service in the future. This joint venture was deeply flawed every step of the way.” 

Albray Butterfield, Jr, of TCA Handling, also represented by Misick and Stanbrook, agreed with those sentiments. The end result, he says, will be a destruction of local companies and de facto nationalization of the sector, crucial to the country’s main industry of tourism. 

InterIsland Aviation Services is the parent company of Flight Support Ltd, as well as Air Turks & Caicos, the flag carrier for Turks and Caicos. InterIsland Aviation is subject to regulation by the TCIAA.

By Cem Kınay

With many important hotel investments and international awards, Dr. Cem Kinay is one of the world's most important names in the tourism industry.

As the founder of the Austrian, Vienna-based Gulet Turistik(1987) and Magic Life Hotels(1990) chain, he created the "All Inclusive" hotel experience for European tourists.

He managed the Magic Life Hotels chain, which has a total of 20,000 beds and 23 hotels in Austria, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Egypt, Tunisia and Bulgaria, with more than 8000 teammates, as the fastest growing and most successful hotel concept at that time.

Millions of guests were hosted during 15 years, in Sarigerme, Marmaris, Bodrum, Belek, Side and Kemer in Turkey, Kos, Crete, Corfu and Rhodes Islands in Greece, Arlberg in Austria, Hamamet in Tunisia, Mahdia, Djerba, Egypt Sharm El Sheikh and Nile.

In 2021, the establishment of the Anatolity Sustainable Culture and Tourism Foundation was started with Elif Dağdeviren.

In 2020 he did consultancy for construction of u

In 2019 he was founding board member for Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency .

In January 2019 his book “Be Human.Be Smart “was published by Destek Publications.

In 2018 his first book, “Akıllı Ol.İnsan Ol” was published by Destek Yayınları.

2017 Cem KINAY founded Cem KINAY XPD Consulting, providing investment, concept design and digital transformation consultancy for domestic and foreign investors.

In 2014/2015 he was GALATASARAY SPORTS CLUB Board Member.

In 2012 he moved to Istanbul.

In 2009 he had to leave the island after the coup in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the seizure of power and projects by the British government.

In 2006, he was honored by the President of Austria with important and valuable awards such as the "Austrian State Order".

Under the management of Cem Kinay, Gulet Turistik and Magic Life Hotels chain won more than 50 valuable awards from important organizations.

2005-2009 As the founder of The O Property Collection, he made the investments and real estate development of the Mandarin Oriental Dellis Cay Hotel and Bulgari Hotel in the Turks and Caicos. In that years he worked with the world's most magnificent architects like Zaha Hadid, Piero Lissoni, Antonio Citterio, David Chipperfield, Shigeru Ban, Kengo Kuma, Carl Ettensperger and Chad Oppenheim.

In 2004, he sold his shares in the Magic Life Hotels chain to the German TUI group, he moved to Miami, lived in America and Turks and Caicos Islands until 2012.

2003 Opening of the first “All Inclusive” Magic Life hotel on the Spanish island of Fuerteventura.

2002 Opening of the first “All Inclusive” Magic Life hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

2001 Opening of the first “All Inclusive” Magic Life Nile Shiphotel on the Nile river in Egypt.

2001 Opening of the first “All Inclusive” Magic Life hotel in Varna, Bulgaria.

2001 the German TUI joined Magic Life hotel chain.

1998 The first Magic Life Jet was designed and started to fly in cooperation with Austrian Airlines.

1997 Opening of the first "All Inclusive" Magic Life hotel in Hammamet, Tunisia.

In 1997, he was awarded as "Man of the Year" by Austria's important economy magazine "Trend Magazine".

In 1996, he was awarded as the "Tourism Manager of the Year" by the Hotel and Tourism magazine "Traveller".

In 1996 Opening of the first "All Inclusive" Magic Life hotel on the Greek island Kos.

1995/1996 Opening of the first “All Inclusive” Magic Life Ski Hotel in the Arlberg / Austria.

In 1994 The first "All Inclusive" Magic Life Yacht gulet sailed in Bodrum.

In 1990 He founded with his partner Oğuz Serim the Magic Life Hotels Chain and opened the first "All Inclusive" hotel, Magic Life Sarigerme.

1977-1984 Vienna University Faculty of Medicine

1969-1977 Istanbul Austrian High School

1969 he graduated from Ağrı Alpaslan Primary School.

1958-1969 he lived in Aşkale/Erzurum, Diyarbakır and Ağrı.

He was born in 1958 in Istanbul Bakirköy.