Tue | Jun 27, 2017

Fly Jamaica to spread its wings

Published:Sunday | November 16, 2014 | 11:00 AMRyon Jones

The two-year-old Fly Jamaica Airways could soar a bit smoother in the near future as the new addition to its fleet seems set to be cleared for take-off.

A Boeing 767 300ER aircraft, which the company acquired in June and moved to the Norman Manley International Airport in July, could soon get the requisite clearance from the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) allowing Fly Jamaica to operate two aircraft.

The company now operates with a single Boeing 757 and has found itself in trouble whenever that aircraft

developed problems.

The Boeing 767 300ER has a seating capacity of 246 (12 business and 234 economy) and should increase the reliability of the relatively young airline.

"They are trying to add a Boeing 767 to their operations specifications and so we are going through a process of adding that aircraft," acting director general of the JCAA, Nari Williams-Singh, told The Sunday Gleaner.

"There are a number of checks and balances you have to go through, there are a number of steps; training of

persons, documentation, the required manuals, and so on. We are nearing the end; we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I wouldn't want to give you an exact date, but we are working," added Williams-Singh.

FAA approval needed

The airline also needs to get

approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, but Williams-Singh said this is being done.

"We started this process earlier this year and we are also coordinating with the FAA, so we are working simultaneously as that is part of the process."

Fly Jamaica has struggled to establish itself in the market as it has been bothered by delays and even cancellations of flights, including a July 10 flight from Kingston to New York.

The airline now flies to Georgetown, Guyana; Kingston, Jamaica; New York, United States; and Toronto, Canada.

With the new aircraft, there is word in aviation circles that the company plans to add more routes but these have not been confirmed.

Last week, Fly Jamaica director, Roxanne Reece, who is the designated spokesperson, said she was busy facilitating JCAA inspections among other things, and would comment at a later date.

ryon.jones@gleanerjm.com