Fly Jamaica Airways yesterday issued its staff with redundancy letters.
This development comes a day after Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Captain Paul Ronald Reece announced that the airline was hopeful of resuming operations here in a couple of months.
However, in the letter issued yesterday, which informed staff that their employment is valid until March 31st, Reece said the company has no other alternative at this time and the board of directors has agreed to let them go.
“The Board of Directors of Fly Jamaica Airways regrets to inform you that due to our lack of aircraft and the impact it has had on the company’s financial position, we have no alternative but to make all of our employees redundant from March 31,” the letter stated.
While expressing sadness and remorse, Reece, in the letter, stated that they were hoping for funding but this has been slow in the making and, as a result, “for the time being no other resources or option exists.”
Employees were informed that they will be compensated for November 2018 to March of this year, and were asked to be patient with the company as it works to honour its commitments.
After expressing gratitude to the employees, Reece informed that should the company’s circumstances change in the future, they are invited to reapply.
Yesterday, Stabroek News reported Reece as saying that the airline is not currently operating any aircraft.
Fly Jamaica has been providing refunds to its customers, he said. “All requests for refunds are being honoured, however, it is a process that has to be checked by our reservations and accounts staff. Some passengers would obviously like to see the process move faster, but we have to be constrained by our cash and credit card business safeguards,” he noted.
On November 9th, 2018, six people were injured when the airline’s Toronto-bound Boeing 757-200, with 118 passengers and eight crew members aboard, made an emergency landing at the Cheddi Jagan International airport. An 86-year-old passenger died one week after, reportedly as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.
The crash put further strain on the company as its other aircraft was reportedly undergoing unscheduled maintenance and resulted in numerous flights being delayed before eventually being cancelled.
Apart from customers complaining bitterly of the poor customer service as a result, the Kingston, Jamaica-based airline was also slapped with two class action lawsuits for injuries and losses sustained in the crash landing on behalf of passengers in Canada.