Guyana watching impact of Caribbean Airlines’ pilots sickout

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 August 2023, 20:18 by Writer

Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Retired Lt.Col. Egbert Field.

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is paying keen attention to what appears to be a sickout by Caribbean Airlines Limited’s (CAL) pilots that on Sunday grounded all of that carrier’s flights.

CAL’s international, regional and domestic flights, including those to and from Guyana, have been canceled.

The airline said on Sunday that the pilots reported sick about three hours before flight departure times, forcing the cancelation of several flights. CAL said the sickout came amid negotiations with the Trinidad and Tobago Airline Pilots Association (TTALPA) for a new Collective Agreement 2015-2018. “Today, there has been a remarkably high volume of calls from pilots reporting that they are unwell and unable to report for duty,” CAL said.

GCAA Director-General Egbert Field said CAL informed him that flights have been disrupted due to “human resource issues” and the carrier was making alternative arrangements such as flights, hotels and other steps.

He told Demerara Waves Online News he would await an update from CAL on Monday and analyse the situation in order to advise Public Works Ministers Juan Edghill and Deodat Indar.

“I did ask them (CAL) when they expect to have this disruption resolved and they indicated they couldn’t give me a time but they were working on it,” he said.

Mr Field said he suspected it’s a pilot action or pilot disruption.

The TTALPA said it was unaware of a strike or industrial action by pilots as that would be in violation of the Industrial Relations Act. The association said it was “unaware of any strike action being taken by the pilots body.” The association said the law bars both the pilot body and pilots from taking such indistrial action…because it is an essential service.”

CAL is a Trinidad and Tobago state-owned airline.