Jamaica air traffic controllers on strike, force flight delay

(Jamaica Gleaner) Jamaica’s air traffic controllers are on strike.

The controllers who went on strike at both the Sangster and Norman Manley International airports yesterday, did not turn up for work again this morning, highly-placed sources have told The Gleaner.

They are upset about salary issues, after failing to reach an agreement with the management two weeks ago.

Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest periods at both airports, with Montego Bay handling an average of 90 flights.

The strike has forced the postponement of JetBlue’s flight 1675 out of Fort Lauderdale into Kingston this morning.

That flight was scheduled to depart Fort Lauderdale at 7:00 a.m (6:00 a.m EST), however, passengers were advised of an indefinite delay.

Speaking to The Gleaner from the Hollywood International airport, Tanesha, a passenger said she had boarded a full flight when the announcement was made.

“I am attending my grandfather’s funeral this afternoon and this is the only time I could travel. I think I will miss his funeral,” she lamented, noting that she left Philadelphia yesterday and slept in Florida last night in order to catch the earliest flight out.

According to Gleaner sources, managers who are air traffic controllers will man both airports until the supervisors and line staff return to work.

In the meantime, the Sangster International Airport which was closed at 9:00 p.m yesterday, reopened at 7:00 a.m today.

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