Caribbean Airlines pilot ‘sick out’ affects domestic and international flights

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Tuesday July 1, 2014, CMC – The Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines Tuesday confirmed that all its international and domestic flights had been affected as a result of industrial action taken by its pilots.

In a statement, the airline said that “many of its pilots who were rostered to operate flights (were) calling in sick”.

Chief executive officer, Michael DeLollo, in an internal memo to staff said “we are naturally concerned firstly for the health and welfare of our pilot body since this is an unprecedented occurrence.

“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.”

DiLollo said the airline was also concerned about the potential negative impact of the disruptions to its passengers.

“Many families choose this time to travel and have committed hard-earned savings to enjoying this time together. To disappoint them will surely be a serious breach of our unspoken contract with them, a betrayal far deeper than even our legal commitment to provide the promised service.”

The airline said that while it is in communication with the Trinidad and Tobago Pilot’s Association (TTALPA) it “is disappointed with the action of the pilots. TTALPA has not yet commented on the industrial action.

“However, Caribbean Airlines will continue to urge further open and frank discussion in good faith with TTALPA while exploring all options available.

“Caribbean Airlines apologizes to its loyal passengers for all inconvenience caused by these delays and assures that all will be done to minimize the delays,” the airline said, urging passengers to confirm their flight times on the website prior to arrival at the airport, to avoid any potential further inconvenience.