Pilots’ sickout disrupts CAL flights

Over 100 passengers travelling to Guyana yesterday had their plans disrupted when

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) pilots engaged in a sickout, resulting in disruptions of the airline’s international and domestic flights.

What CAL Chief Executive Officer Michael DiLollo described as “an unprecedented occurrence” resulted in flights being delayed and cancelled in Guyana. CAL had announced that its international and domestic flights were affected after many pilots rostered to work yesterday reported sick.

Public Relations Officer of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) Aneka Edwards said one flight, the BW 661, was cancelled after the incident. The flight was bringing passengers from Canada to Guyana. All 104 of those passengers were merged with another flight to Guyana, Edwards said. She also stated that a late night flight was delayed.

Earlier yesterday four CAL flights departed Guyana.

In a statement released yesterday, CAL said DiLollo, in an internal release to all staff,

Indicated that the airline was firstly concerned about the health and welfare of its pilot body, but noted that the action had disrupted the scheduled services at the beginning of the summer season.

“…this is an unprecedented occurrence. This unfortunate situation has disrupted our scheduled services at the beginning of our critical summer season, during which we count most on our operational crews to demonstrate reliability and service for our loyal customers,” he said.

DiLollo also expressed concern about the possible negative effect of the disruptions to its passengers, noting that to disappoint them would “surely be a serious breach of our (their) unspoken contract with them, a betrayal far deeper than even our legal commitment to provide the promised service.”

The statement added that while the airline’s management and the pilots’ recognised majority union, the Trinidad and Tobago Pilot’s Association have been in communication, CAL was disappointed with the action of the pilots. “However, Caribbean Airlines will continue to urge further open and frank discussion in good faith with TTALPA while exploring all options available,” the statement said.

The airline apologised to its passengers for all inconvenience caused by the delays and assured that all will be done to minimise the delays. It also advised passengers to confirm their flight times with the Flight Status Tool on www. caribbean-airlines.com prior to arrival at the airport, to avoid any potential further inconvenience.


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