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Carib Airlines must explain 'denied landing'

Published:Monday | July 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Gleaner story 'Caribbean Airlines flight denied landing in Florida, passengers stranded' (July 4, 2014) presents the 'truth' from the perspective of the embattled airline management, clearly dealt another debilitating blow by the 'sick' pilots who, from all indications, were still restive, in spite of assurances from management to the contrary.

According to Caribbean Airlines, Flight BW033, destined for Fort Lauderdale (FLL), departed the Norman Manley International Airport at 8:42 p.m., an hour and 52 minutes after the scheduled departure time. Interestingly, one hour and 22 minutes later, the flight was back on Jamaican soil amid a claim that the aircraft was denied landing at FLL. Blatant lie? From all indications, the aircraft never left Jamaican airspace and, from all indications, there was clearly no intent to do so.

In a post-Malaysian Airlines MH 370 era, the actions of Caribbean Airlines, with this aborted flight on Thursday, July 3, should not go unnoticed and should be thoroughly investigated by Jamaica's Civil Aviation Authority and other relevant agencies and the necessary sanctions applied where due. The actions of the Caribbean Airlines flight crew highlight the disregard that they, and by extension, the airline, have for paying customers. They have gone to great lengths to give their passengers a 'joy(less) ride'. The facts, as documented in the Flight Track Log maintained by Flightaware (www.flightaware.com), paints the picture of the deception quite clearly.

As a paying customer for a seat on this flight, I am incensed at the actions of the flight crew, and more so at the statements of management, which indicate gross incompetence. Through you, Mr Editor, I would like the management of Caribbean Airlines to answer the following questions:

1. Was the Caribbean Airlines flight operations team aware of the regulations governing the cut-off time for inbound international traffic at the time they filed the flight plan for BW033?

2. Was there an expectation that, having departed mere minutes before the published cut-off time, there was a realistic expectation that time could be made up in the air with a view to arriving within the permissible landing window?

3. Was there an issue with the scheduled flight crew that caused the flight to be captained by an airman that had the day off?

With jetBlue expertly serving the route (FLL to KIN), American serving Miami, and Southwest now serving Orlando, Caribbean Airlines just placed the final nail in the coffin as far as my Jamaica-to-Florida needs are concerned.

Caribbean Airlines, it's now over to you to provide answers that your paying customers well deserve.

HOWARD CAMPBELL

howiecee@gmail.com

Chester Castle PO,

Hanover