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Fly Jamaica passengers suffer prolonged delays again

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 December 2017, 11:52 by Denis Chabrol

Fly Jamaica is suffering major delays in flights between Georgetown and New York for the second time in four months due to routine maintenance and technical problems, sources said.

Passengers complained bitterly about the delay on Social Media and criticized the carrier for not keeping passengers abreast. “So frustrated can the management of Fly Jamaica tell us what is happening with the flight from Georgetown to JFK. After waiting since 2 am, at 12:31, we are told they are not sure of the flight’s departure. There a children, women and senior citizens. This is disrespectful,” Indira Badal said on Facebook.

When contacted, an airline representative told Demerara Waves Online News that an updated schedule is available is posted on its website . The official said the delays began since Wednesday and “this week up to Sunday will be delayed”. The carrier hopes that the schedule would be back to normal by next week Monday.

The next flight leaves New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport at 1 AM Friday and will arrive in Guyana at about 10:45 AM via Jamaica. The schedule also states that the next Fly Jamaica flight leaves Guyana on Saturday morning at about 5:30 AM for Jamaica but so far the carrier is unclear when the connecting flight will leave that Caribbean island for New York.

Director-General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Retired Lt. Col. Egbert Field told Demerara Waves Online News that his regulatory agency has been informed that one plane owned by Fly Jamaica is undergoing annual routine maintenance and the other one also the property of that airline has been grounded for some time now until the engine is replaced.

He further informed that the current delays were caused when the lone chartered plane, an Airbus 330, developed technical problems and a part had to be flown in urgently from Jamaica.

The GCAA Director-General said none of the civil aviation regulations here require airlines to inform passengers in a timely manner about delays and change in schedules. “There is nothing in the regulations that we have which states that they are to inform passengers in a timely manner,” he said. Fields noted airlines should do so as part of its business function and customer relations, and the GCAA only seeks to persuade carriers that they should inform passengers whenever there are difficulties. “When we do inspections or when we do our annual inspection we advise them that they should have things in place when they have interruptions. It is not in the regulation; it more of an advisory to them,” he said.

Back August, 2017 Fly Jamaica passengers had experienced similar delays for several days. However, passengers had not been informed promptly about the delays and told precisely when they would have been departing.

Stand-alone Airport Delay Map

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December 2017