Fly Jamaica accuses Jamaica Observer, Stabroek News of ‘sensational news’

Fly Jamaica Airlines yesterday while adverting to the fact that airline operators worldwide encounter delays owing to various issues said that it has taken note of the “sensational news” published by the Jamaica Observer and the Stabroek News which has brought disrepute to the airline.

A press release was issued in response to an article published in the Stabroek News yesterday which chronicled the woes of a passenger who had used the airline’s Toronto to Guyana service. The article also made reference to a Jamaica Observer publication which spoke of a flight which landed in Jamaica two days after its scheduled arrival and a Kingston to New York flight which was cancelled.

“Airline operators all over the world suffer from delays due to weather conditions or maintenance of equipment.   No machine is 100% efficient,” the airline said.

According to the release, in the airline industry passenger safety requires that pilots and engineers are trained not to allow any aircraft to be operated with any malfunction. “Therefore, when there is any indication of any abnormal situation, the aircraft will be grounded and thoroughly checked and repaired to ensure the safety of the travelling public. This is the reason airlines maintain such a high safety record,” it was stated.

The airline emphasised that all passengers, whose travel plans were recently disrupted as a result of “our irregular operation” for a period of two days, were contacted, were re-accommodated in hotels, and travelled to their final destination on other airlines at the expense of Fly Jamaica Airways.

Fly Jamaica Airways Limited, it was stated, was formed on “a solid foundation” and introduced the first non-stop flight between Kingston and Georgetown, which has greatly enhanced trade and tourism between Jamaica and Guyana.   The release added that it is with great pleasure that Fly Jamaica Airways recently announced the acquisition of a Boeing B767-300ER to enhance the reliability of its air transportation service.

Fly Jamaica Airways Limited is the only privately owned jet airline in the Caribbean, which operates a B757- 200ER and will shortly have a B767-300ER flying to JFK, New York, Toronto, Canada, Georgetown, Guyana and Kingston, Jamaica.

The company has been back on schedule since Tuesday July 15, 2014, and “we take this opportunity to reassure the travel agents and the travelling public that we shall continue to operate for many more years to come.” The airline listed its objectives as having always been, and remaining, the safety and security of its passengers.

The airline urged the press to contact its Chairman & CEO – Captain Paul Ronald Reece, or Suzette Tomlinson, Commercial Manager of Marketing & Sales for the clarification of issues, before printing “another sensational article that will unnecessarily alarm the public.”

The release said that Captain Reece, Roxanne Reece and Captain Lloyd Tai formed Fly Jamaica Airways on September 7, 2011.

Captain Lloyd Tai it was stated had recently retired, and had formed his own aviation consultancy firm, and kindly agreed to provide the newly formed airline with two years of his expertise in order to assist Fly Jamaica Airways achieve its start-up objectives. His contract has now expired and he has returned to his private consultancy. Two other Jamaicans, Christine Steele and Shaun Lawson-Laing, it was said in the release, were added to the Board of Directors in 2011. Captain Tai and Steele resigned in January 2014.

Professor Hilton McDavid and Captain Patrick Cousins have replaced Steele and Captain Tai on the Board of Directors of Fly Jamaica Airways.

The newspapers, the release said have erroneously reported that Silvera was a founding member of Fly Jamaica Airways. Silvera was an administrator, who resigned from the company last year.

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