Crippling pilots’ sick out at CAL
A bare Caribbean Airlines desk at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) told the tale of how crippling strike action at the Trinidad-based airline impacted travellers here.
CAL was forced to ground at least 22 domestic and international flights as its pilots called in sick, in an apparent standoff with management.
At the GAIA, only two disappointed passengers travelling to Guyana were on hand desperately hoping for flights to resume when our news team visited this afternoon.
Marci Gayle De Young told Barbados TODAY she was anxious to return home to attend her mother’s funeral tomorrow.
The other passenger, A. Bansel, also expressed frustration at being delayed. He said he wanted to leave on the first flight out.
They also said airline representatives told them alternative arrangements were being made for a late flight, failing this they would be sent to a hotel.
In an internal memo to staff, CAL’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Delollo described the pilots’ sick out action as unprecedented and he expressed disappointment at the move.
While saying the airline was naturally concerned about the health and welfare of the pilot body, he however questioned the action.
“This unfortunate situation has disrupted our scheduled services at the beginning of our critical summer season, during which we count most on our operational crews to demonstrate reliability and service for our loyal customers.”
CAL and the Trinidad and Tobago Pilots Association have been holding talks.
While Delollo did not disclose the nature of their discussions, he said CAL remained open to frank dialogue with the Association.
“Caribbean Airlines will continue to urge further open and frank discussion in good faith with TTALPA while exploring all options available,” the statement said.