Last Updated on Tuesday, 9 January 2018, 17:54 by Denis Chabrol
Fly Jamaica Airways on Tuesday agreed to establish a 24-hour call centre in Guyana to respond to inquiries by hundreds of Guyanese who have been stranded in recent weeks, as the carrier takes steps to acquire aircraft to alleviate the situation.
The decisions were taken at a meeting to which airline executives were summoned by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the local regulator.
“Based on the outcome of the meeting, Fly Jamaica has committed to immediately operationalize a 24-hour Call Centre for passengers in Guyana to get updates and other information regarding their bookings with the Airline.
Fly Jamaica Officials also committed to contact passengers and provide them with updates of their flight bookings. Passengersare asked to call the Airline on telephone numbers 222-0227 or 222-5556 to speak with a Customer Service Representative of Fly Jamaica,” the GCAA said.
Whenever Fly Jamaica’s flights are delayed, it is very difficult to contact representatives by telephone at the Guyana offices to provide updates on flight schedules.
The regulatory agency said Fly Jamaica informed that it is expected to have its own Boeing 767 aircraft in operation as early as Thursday January 11, 2018 “to relieve the backlog of passengers left stranded in Guyana and other destinations.” Additionally, the GCAA said Fly Jamaica advised that it has arranged to lease a B757 aircraft from National Airlines to operate between Kingston, Jamaica and JFK in New York.
The meeting was hosted by GCAA Director General, Retired Lt.Col; Egbert Field “to express the Authority’s dissatisfaction with the prolonged delays and cancellations being experienced by passengers,and to be updated on solutions in addressing the matter.”
Representing Fly Jamaica at the meeting was Mr. Carl Bowen,Commercial Operations Manager and Ms. Patricia Reece, Director, Wings Aviation.
The GCAA said the Fly Jamaica officials informed that its fleet of aircraft which had to undergo unscheduled and mandatory scheduled maintenance checks, was one of the reasons for the delays and cancellations.
“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 their scheduled flights with the aircraft that were leased to continue its operations in the absence of their regular fleet,” the GCAA said in its statement.
The meeting was chaired by Lt. Col. Field. Present were Mr. Saheed Sulaman, Director, Air Transport Management, Mr. Abraham Dorris, Manager, Aviation Security, Captain Christopher Kirkcaldy, Director (ag), Aviation Safety Regulations, Mr. Dinello Mahabir, Air Transport Officer and Mr. Rashan Reid, Public Communications Officer of the GCAA.