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Fly Jamaica CEO defends airline, following protest

BY MOYA HINDS
Staff reporter
moyah@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 14, 2018

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FLY Jamaica Airlines has again come under heavy public scrutiny following an early morning protest at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston yesterday.

The protest was sparked by passengers who were left fuming after their Fly Jamaica flight to New York was delayed again.

The passengers, who said they were to leave the island from Thursday, could be heard chanting, “we want justice,” as the flight which was set for yesterday morning was delayed until 3:00 pm yesterday.

When the Jamaica Observer contacted Fly Jamaica Airways CEO Paul Reece, he dismissed the claim that the flight was scheduled to leave on Thursday.

“That is not true. The airplane was rented from National Airlines to move the passengers and they behaved in a disorderly manner. They threatened the crew last night and the crew said they are going home, and that is why the flight wasn't done,” said Reece.

He added that there was one person who was on board who did not have a green card, and when he was taken off the flight the passengers started behaving “badly”.

“They started tripping the cabin attendants in the aisle as they walked. So the flight crew and cabin crew said they aren't doing the flight anymore,” Reece stated, insisting that the aircraft was at the airport at that time.

“The plane was there since last night ready to take them but if they want to behave in a disorderly manner what more can the crew do? There are rules since 9/11 about unruly passengers.

“If people behave in an unruly manner you can't put them on board or they can be arrested,” Reece added.

The CEO also pointed out that if the passengers continue behaving in an irrational manner then the crew will probably cancel the flight again.

“Things can't go on like this. if you want to travel just stay quiet, get where you're going, and keep moving on,” said Reece.

However, a disgruntled passenger described her ordeal with Fly Jamaica as one of the worst airline experiences rife with lack of communication, 'ginnalis' propaganda, and animalistic treatment towards passengers.

The passenger, a university student, said she would not recommend anyone to fly on that airline ever again.

“It's not worth the frustration or consequences. It's a disgrace,” she said.

Just last week, the management of Fly Jamaica was summoned to a meeting with officials of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority following reports of an increase in flight cancellations and delays in recent weeks.

Fly Jamaica falls under the Wings Aviation company and operates scheduled flights from Guyana to Kingston (Jamaica), Toronto (Canada) and New York (USA). The airline also recently received approval to begin serving the Cuba route.

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