Cash-strapped Fly Jamaica, which has shut down operations, did not deposit a US$200,000 bond to refund passengers because it was a scheduled carrier, not a charter service, a top GCAA official said Monday.
Director-General of the GCAA, Retired Lt. Col. Egbert Field told Demerara Waves Online News that his regulatory agency was not yet informed by the carrier that it has decided to cease operations.
However, he said Fly Jamaica had not been required to deposit a bond with the GCAA because it was not a charter service, but that the Authority was still awaiting formal notification from the carrier of its decision to shutter operations.
While the GCAA could not rely on media reports, Field said if the carrier does not update the regulator on its efforts to source financing, efforts would be made to contact the principals. “If we don’t hear from them shortly, we’ll engage them because the last thing they told us, when we communicated them, they said they were still looking to source financing,” he said.
Fly Jamaica last month informed its staff that it had decided to ground all operations and send them home because of its failure to find cash to restart operations.
The Jamaica-registered carrier suffered a financial blowout on November 9, 2018 when one of its planes crash-landed on making a return emergency landing at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). One of the Canada-bound passengers died days later at a city hospital and several others had been treated and sent away.
Since then, Fly Jamaica has been facing a number of lawsuits.
Chief Executive Officer of Fly Jamaica, Ronald Reece did not immediately respond to several questions.