GUYANA – Airport collision

CAL plane departs after repairs

GEORGETOWN – A Caribbean Airlines aircraft that was involved in a collision, Tuesday, with Fly Jamaica plane has been repaired and has since left the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri airport.

The damaged tail cone of the Fly Jamaica aircraft.
The damaged tail cone of the Fly Jamaica aircraft.

Civil aviation officials yesterday confirmed that the Boeing 737-800 aircraft operating as BW 527 has returned to its home port in Trinidad and Tobago after being cleared for departure.

A team came from that Twin-Island Republic to conduct repairs to the damaged wing of the CAL aircraft.

Yesterday, also, a team from Boeing arrived in Guyana to assess the damage to the Fly Jamaica plane.

The assessment will determine what repairs will have to be made before the plane is allowed to fly again.

Meanwhile, according to Lieutenant Colonel (ret’d) Egbert Fields, Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the task of his organization as regulator of the aviation industry, is not to apportion blame.

Rather, it is to present a report to the stakeholders, including to CAL and Fly Jamaica.

The two operators will then decide on how to settle the matter- whether through legal channels or via settlement.

On Tuesday, authorities announced that a probe had been launched into an incident that occurred that morning in which the tail of a Fly Jamaica aircraft was struck off by a plane belonging to Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL).

The two planes were grounded at the CJIA with flights to North America – the US and Canada – affected. There has been worry about flights availability as the Christmas peak season is almost here. Thousands of Guyanese live in New York, US and Toronto, Canada.

According to a brief statement from CJIA on Tuesday, its investigators and those of the GCAA are currently probing the incident that occurred between the two aircraft around 07:20 hrs on the international apron.

The Fly Jamaica flight had reportedly landed about an hour earlier than the Caribbean Airlines flight.

Caribbean Airlines, also in a short statement, said that one of its planes, a Boeing 737-800 aircraft operating as BW 527, from JFK International, New York to CJIA, Guyana, was involved in an incident on the ramp.

The Trinidadian-owned airline said that all passengers and crew were safely disembarked.

“The aircraft has since been temporarily withdrawn from service and all appropriate inspections and procedures, along with an investigation are in progress.”

Fly Jamaica also issued a release Tuesday evening on the incident, it read:

“ At approximately 07:20hrs this morning at Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) in Guyana, Fly Jamaica Airways’ B767-300, which was parked at an assigned gate, was struck by the wing tip of a taxiing Caribbean Airlines (CAL) B737-800 aircraft.

Fly Jamaica Airways’ B767-300 aircraft has been withdrawn from service, and the airline awaits the findings of the investigation currently being conducted by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). The Directors and staff of Fly Jamaica Airways wish to reassure their customers that they are working assiduously to lessen the inconvenience caused by this incident, and to ensure that all of their passengers are accommodated in the most efficient and convenient manner.

Both airlines have been playing a critical role in offering air transport linkages to especially the US and Canada.

Fly Jamaica, partially owned by Guyanese, will be more affected by the incident as it only has two planes. Caribbean Airlines, headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, has several aircraft.

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