Fly Jamaica staff jobless after March 31

Still reeling from crash landing at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) back in November, Guyanese-owned Fly Jamaica has made all its staff redundant as of March 31, 2019.
This was announced by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Ronald Reece in a letter to employees on Friday, March 29, 2019.
“The Board of Directors of Fly Jamaica regrets to inform you that due to our lack of aircraft and the impact that it has had on the company’s financial position, we have no alternative but to make all our employees redundant effective March 31, 2019,” Reece said. It has been reported that the Jamaica-based airline employs some 400 persons.
According to the CEO, this decision was not made without great sadness and remorse. He explained that the company was hoping to secure funding but that has been slow in acquiring. “…therefore, for the time being, no other resources or options exists,” he noted.
Reece, nevertheless, assured employees that the compensation they are owned from November to date will be provided to them but pleaded for time to fulfil this.
“We ask that you allow us more time to do so… We wish to thank you for your service, loyalty and dedication to the company,” the CEO said in the letter while asking that they ensure that their contact information with the company’s Human Resources department is up to date.
Meanwhile, the employees were informed that if the circumstances of the company changes in the future and they are still interested in re-joining, then they will be allowed to do so.
This announcement comes on the heels of the company grappling with operational expenses after facing a huge compensation bill following last year’s crash in Timehri as well as loss of services with one of its aircraft being down.
On November 9, 2018, a Fly Jamaica-operated Boeing 757 crashed during an emergency landing at the CJIA less than an hour after taking off for Toronto, Canada. The aircraft had experienced technical complications and decided to return to Guyana.
At the time, there were 118 adults, along with two infants and an eight-member crew on board. The tragedy has claimed the life of 85-year-old Rookhia Kalloo, a pensioner who was on the flight and died a week later.
The company had subsequently promised to compensate passengers; not only those that were aboard the crashed flight but those who were affected due to delays caused by the crash. The company’s Boeing 757, which had overshot the extended runway at CJIA and suffered extensive damage has been rendered useless.