Fly Jamaica to meet GCAA today
[File photo]
[File photo]

–but reassures passengers they’ll be able to fly by weekend

AS Fly Jamaica Airways prepares to meet the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) today over consistent cancellation of flights, the company has sought to reassure passengers that they will be able to travel by this weekend.

The GCAA wrote the airline recently requesting to meet with its management today, following a number of reports of cancelled and delayed flights entering and leaving Guyana. Fly Jamaica also operates from Kingston, New York and Toronto.
The company’s commercial manager, Carl Bowen confirmed that the meeting is scheduled for today. He said that no prior discussions were had, and the company will be looking to present its case fully to the authority.

He also sought to reassure those passengers whose flights were cancelled indefinitely over the last few weeks that they will be able to travel soon.
“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,” Bowen said.
The airline’s planes were down for maintenance two months ago, and the company began leasing aircrafts to facilitate travel. But as Bowen explained, these leased aircrafts have brought with them “crew-related issues” which caused major setbacks for the company.

A snow storm in New York was also reported to be one of the causes for the delays. On Saturday, Bowen said that he was contacted by the Operations Director of Terminal One at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport, New York, and told that no flights should enter or leave the terminal because of the inclement weather.

As a result of flights not being able to leave that airport, he said that the passengers in Jamaica were not able to return to Guyana, since the flights originating from JFK would have had to stop in Jamaica for passengers there.
He, however, said that by Wednesday, Fly Jamaica’s 767-300 aircraft will be back to accommodate those passengers, some of whom have been waiting to return home since last week.

Despite the flights re-commencing by Wednesday, Bowen said that this would not mean a resumption of the regular flight schedule, due to the fact that the airline would have to work with available landing slots regulated by airports.
In other words, the company is not at liberty to fly as it pleases, but must wait on instructions from airports.

“People are complaining about the time of the flights, but we don’t have those as yet. And I have letters from the airports telling us when we can go there, so, a lot of things are happening that we have no control of,” Bowen explained.
He said that landing slots in New York have been made available for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the load to be transported to and from the US “is not that big”.

He reiterated, though, that “all passengers will be cleared out by this weekend,” as the airline’s aircraft and the leased aircraft will be utilised.
And if luck is on the side of the company, Bowen said that all passengers currently awaiting flights could be transported as soon as today. That’s because the airline has made a request for a 777 aircraft, but the leasing company is yet to respond.

Hinting at the size of that aircraft, Bowen said that should a favourable response be forthcoming, then passengers will be facilitated by today.
Should this not be possible, he said that they will be transported by this weekend.
In the interim, efforts are also being made to have passengers accommodated on other carriers, while those in need of compensation have been receiving same.

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.”

Meanwhile, US media have reported that Terminal Four arrivals at the JFK Airport has been reopened after been closed temporarily due to a broken water main which resulted in the suspension of international arrivals, including those from Caribbean Airlines.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All our printed editions are available online
Subscribe to the Guyana Chronicle.
Sign up to receive news and updates.
We respect your privacy.