Fly Jamaica battles massive backlog


… Passengers threaten legal action as chartered flight allegedly turned back on runway

Ever since the grounding of an aircraft attached to Fly Jamaica’s fleet over two weeks ago, the airline has been battling with a massive backlog, as the swarms of irate passengers continue to multiply at three of the airports from which the carrier operates.

Hundreds of travellers booked with Fly Jamaica Airways over the past week have been left stranded at the John F Kennedy (JFK) Airport in New York and Pearson International in Toronto, Canada, ultimately resulting in a buildup of passengers at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport; given that there has been an interruption to both in-bound and out-bound services here in Guyana.

Even with the airline’s administration being forced to seek refuge by chartering an aircraft operating through another international fleet, passengers are still awaiting their flights out of the CJIA, while those returning home were faced with an endless list of inconveniences.

On Thursday last, the world’s largest twinjet, a Boeing 777 attached to Omni Airways in the United States, made a historical touchdown at the CJIA, carrying 377 of Fly Jamaica’s customers, who were delayed in their return from New York for a number of days.

However, a simultaneous flight was set to relieve passengers stranded in Canada on Friday but the Omni Airways 767 domestic jet had allegedly missed its allotted take off time while taxiing to the runway, and as such, was grounded for an entire day.

An excess of 260 passengers finally landed in Guyana on Sunday, only to discover that some of their luggage did not make the flight out of Canada. This was after scores of furious customers had already abandoned the wait and booked their trip back home with other airlines.
Speaking with this publication on Sunday was one of the just landed passengers who expressed several grievances in the airline’s response to the technical difficulty and thereby outlined her family’s losses as a result of their days-long delay.

Hundreds of Fly Jamaica passengers making their way through Pearson International in Toronto on Saturday, after being stranded for a number of days

The young woman who was set to commence her studies at the University of Guyana is now uncertain of her academic future, given that she missed the registration deadline after being stranded in Canada since Monday of last week.

She explained that the confusion of being delayed for five days and subsequently turned away after finally boarding a plane, her family was left in the dark by the staff of Fly Jamaica, who were unforthcoming with information relating to their return to Guyana.

However, after finally arriving at home, they were greeted with yet another pile of disappointing news, following the announcement that their luggage was not on the plane.

As such, the young woman is calling on Fly Jamaica Airways to embark on efforts to compensate the passengers for their losses, especially in light of the immeasurable inconveniences.

In addition, other enraged passengers have taken to social media and other forums in widespread outbursts of condemnation over the airline’s failure to cater for their customers in the time of interruptions to their regular operations.

Nevertheless, Fly Jamaica Airways has, over the past few days, announced that they are working feverishly to put an end to the delays and return their service to normalcy. In fact, the carrier has announced that the grounded aircraft is currently undergoing repairs to its engine but is expected to be back on the runway within the coming week. (Ashraf Dabie)




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