-sets up 24-hr call centre to deal with complaints
FLY Jamaica Airways is expected to resume operations on Thursday when it receives its Boeing 767 aircraft which went down for unscheduled maintenance recently.
This commitment was made by the company to the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), after the latter summoned the airline to a meeting to discuss its consistent cancellation of flights entering and leaving Guyana over the last few months.
Several hundred passengers have since been left stranded in the four destinations from which Fly Jamaica operates – Georgetown, Kingston, New York and Toronto.
The meeting which was held on Tuesday was chaired by Director General of the authority, Lt. Col. (Ret’d) Egbert Field. Representing Fly Jamaica was Carl Bowen, Commercial Operations Manager and Patricia Reece, Director, Wings Aviation.
Present at the meeting too, were: Saheed Sulaman, Director, Air Transport Management; Abraham Dorris, Manager, Aviation Security; Captain Christopher Kirkcaldy, Director (ag), Aviation Safety Regulations; Dinello Mahabir, Air Transport Officer; and Rashan Reid, Public Communications Officer of the GCAA.
The airline’s representatives informed GCAA that its fleet of aircraft had to undergo unscheduled and mandatory scheduled maintenance checks, which was one of the reasons for the delays and cancellations. GCCA said it was informed that the airline utilised four charter services which was intermittently disrupted by crew shortages in those companies. Additionally, a snow storm in New York had affected the airline’s flight schedule.
Based on the outcome of the meeting, GCCA said that Fly Jamaica has committed to immediately operationalise a 24-hour call centre for passengers in Guyana to get updates and other information regarding their bookings. The airline officials have also committed to contact passengers and provide them with updates of their flight bookings.
In relation to the resumption of flights, officials said that the airline is expected to have its own Boeing 767 aircraft in operation as early as Thursday to relieve the backlog of passengers stranded in Guyana and other destinations. Additionally, Fly Jamaica has arranged to lease a B757 aircraft from National Airlines to operate between Kingston, Jamaica and JFK in New York.
On Monday, Bowen told the Guyana Chronicle that the airline was expecting to receive its aircraft by Wednesday and that the flight schedule would return to normal by weekend. “Operations will definitely begin by Wednesday, but we won’t be back to our regular schedule until three to four days after… So that will take us into the weekend,” he said.
Bowen also said that he has been in direct contact with many of the passengers, who, despite their eagerness to return home, have been understanding.
“The passengers I have spoken to have been understanding; they are travel-savvy so they understand that these are issues which are not new to the aviation industry,” he said. “Most of them are eager to return home and to their jobs, but they have been understanding.”
Passengers are asked to call the airline on telephone numbers 222-0227 or 222-5556 to speak with a Customer Service Representative of Fly Jamaica.