Sat | Jul 31, 2021

New investors acquire beleaguered Fly Jamaica; consortium includes J'can aviation veteran

Published:Sunday | July 28, 2019 | 12:00 AM

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC –  A team of investors, including Jamaican aviation veteran Glenn Logan, has taken over the operations of the problem-plagued Fly Jamaica Airways.

The new owners, led by Yann LeProvost of the French-based company W&Y SAS, took over the reigns on Friday from Guyanese operators Paul and Roxanne Reece, and promised to address issues affecting the carrier, including the payment of salaries, ticket refunds and the payment of outstanding debt.

“This is significant for many different reasons, to restore confidence in the Jamaican people, the flying public and the tourism industry in Jamaica," Logan told the CMC. "We are not just going to concentrate on the ethnic market, but also the tourism market. It is essential for the survival of the tourism market, for use to concentrate on this. This is the key component for the survival of the airline,” he explained.

He said plans are under way for flights to resume in September.

Logan comes to Fly Jamaica with over several years of experience in the aviation industry, including now defunct Air Jamaica, Air Canada and other airlines in Canada. He also started Canada 3000 airlines and established a small airline out of South Florida.

“This is why the investors have confidence in what I am doing,” he said, while adding that the new Fly Jamaica, with headquarters in Kingston, will initially focus on destinations to North America.

“Toronto, New York, will be the primary North American destinations with plans to expand to Fort Lauderdale in the future. We are also working right now with some French Tour operators as well as operators in Germany and South America. It is imperative that we gear up as quickly as possible to meet the deadlines of the tour operators in Europe.”

According to Logan, plans are also under way to open an office and start departures out of Montego Bay. 

“We have already had talks with personnel from the  Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), they are excited to work with us, and within the next two weeks, there will be new posters, a new Fly Jamaica logo and  a complete rebrand of the airline. Things will be different, we are looking at the operations of some very successful carriers, such as AirAsia and Sun Wing Vacations in Canada.”

He noted that attorney Michael Vaccianna played an instrumental role in getting the deal done .

“Things will be different with this airline, this will be a lateral integration, we will have Fly Jamaica vacations, we intend to have a hotel, we will focus on ground handling. This will ensure that money circulates within the company.”

Fly Jamaica Airways, that was based in Georgetown, Guyana started operating on February 14,2013.

However, the carrier was grounded following an incident at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on November 9, 2018 when the 757 Boeing aircraft, destined for Toronto, Canada, encountered difficulties and made an emergency landing  with more than 100 passengers on board.

In March the airline made all its staff redundant, with then  chairman and chief executive officer, Paul Reece, saying that this was due to the lack of planes to carry out operations and the failure of the company to recover in the aftermath of the November emergency landing.