Most CAL holdovers placed on flights

The last of several dozen Caribbean Airlines (CAL) passengers, who were still stranded at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) yesterday, were expected to leave the airport today for the United States.

A majority of the 248 outbound passengers that had been stranded here for three days after repeated flight delays departed the CJIA on separate flights on Wednesday evening, yesterday morning and during the remainder of the day.

Checks at the Princess Hotel, on the East Bank of Demerara, where CAL accommodated passengers, revealed that the majority of them left for the airport on Wednesday evening and yesterday while the remainder was expected to travel today.

Another meeting was held yesterday afternoon with the remaining passengers, who were advised that they would be able to depart these shores by today on the early morning and mid-afternoon flights.

Airport staff noted last evening that CAL had several extra flights today to accommodate the stranded passengers as well as those booked to travel on the airline’s normal schedule.

While the phones at the airline’s offices continued to go unanswered yesterday, the airline continued to run an advisory for its passengers on its website, informing that it continued to operate extra flights to and from New York to Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad in order to transport passengers who were inconvenienced due to the weather situation in New York last weekend.

Hurricane Irene caused the cancellation of thirty-four Caribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica flights, the airline noted.

According to the airline, while additional aircraft have been leased to continue to assist in the effort of moving remaining passengers to and from New York, it was working with a maintenance delay, with the leased aircraft which has set back the recovery process.

CAL transported the passengers to the Princess Hotel just after midnight on Tuesday morning after tempers flared between them and airline and airport staff at the CJIA. Some of the passengers had been waiting in the departure lounge of the airport since Monday night.

When this newspaper visited the Princess Hotel on Wednesday, the hotel lobby and pool area were buzzing with activity as the disgruntled passengers awaited word from the airline on their travelling arrangements.

Most persons expressed disgust at the situation, and especially at the frequent promises made and broken by the airline, while others noted that the airline needed to come clean as regards the availability of flights.

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