GCAA Director General expresses dissatisfaction with Fly Jamaica

first_imgOne day after Fly Jamaica announced plans to implement an operations recovery plan after leaving hundreds of its passengers stranded for days, it has now made a commitment to set up a 24-hour call centre for passengers in Guyana to get updates and other information regarding their bookings.This decision was made after a team representing the airline met with the Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Egbert Field. Representing Fly Jamaica at the meeting were Commercial Operations Manager Carl Bowen and Wings Aviation Director Patricia Reece.GCAA Director General, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Egbert Field (third from right) with officials both from the GCAA and Fly Jamaica AirlineThe meeting was chaired by Field. However, there was also a large contingent of several other GCAA officials including: Air Transport Management Director Saheed Sulaman; Aviation Security Manager Abraham Dorris; acting Aviation Safety Regulations Director, Captain Christopher Kirkcaldy; Air Transport Officer Dinello Mahabir; and Public Communications Officer Rashan Reid.During the meeting, Field expressed the GCAA’s dissatisfaction with the prolonged delays and cancellations being experienced by passengers. However, the airline officials informed the GCAA that mandatory scheduled maintenance checks on its fleet were part of the reason for the delays.It was also explained that during this period, the operation, which continued with the use of at least four charter services, was intermittently disrupted by crew shortages in those companies. In addition, the adverse weather conditions in New York affected scheduled flights with the aircraft that were leased to continue operations in the absence of the regular fleet.In addition to Fly Jamaica committing to operationalising a 24-hour call centre for passengers in Guyana, Fly Jamaica officials also committed to contact passengers and provide them with updates of their flight bookings.According to the GCAA, the airline is expected to have its own Boeing 767 aircraft in operation on January 11, 2018 to relieve the backlog of passengers left 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 John F Kennedy Airport in New York.This newspaper was told that Fly Jamaica agents were inaccessible over the past week and had left hundreds of passengers stranded in Guyana.Meanwhile, passengers travelling from Toronto to Guyana have also been stranded at the Pearson International Airport.This is not the first time that Fly Jamaica has experienced major delays. In December 2017, a few days before Christmas, frustrated passengers had complained that flights between Georgetown and New York were cancelled as a result of technical problems the airline was experiencing. In that instance, passengers had taken to social media and bashed the airline for keeping them in the dark.In July last year, passengers of the same airline had vented their frustration, again on social media, over the poor communication from airline employees.last_img

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