Caribbean Airlines could be heading for more turbulence following its emergency landing at the Hewanorra International Airport last Sunday with news that pilots are concerned about the safety of the airline’s fleet.
Caribbean Airlines pilots held a “critical” meeting on Friday and threatened to ground all flights until the airline rectifies a number of issues, including recurring technical problems on aircraft, reports the Trinidad Guardian.
The pilots association described the situation as “grave”.
The pilots have warned passengers to expect “chaos” as many of them have decided not to operate the company’s ATR aircraft which they say have been experiencing constant technical problems, reports Trinidad Express.
Caribbean Airlines has not responded to a request from St Lucia Times for comment on the Vieux Fort incident emergency.
However an airline spokeswoman has told Trinidad media that the emergency landing was due to a warning light coming on in the cockpit and not the result of an engine fire.
“There was no fire on any Caribbean Airlines plane. The crews did exactly what they were supposed to given the situation that presented itself,” CAL communications manager Dionne Ligoure was quoting as saying.
Flight BW434 was travelling from Port of Spain to George Charles Airport when the pilots alerted airport officials in St Lucia to the emergency.
Ligoure disclosed that the necessary inspections were done by the relevant independent bodies in St Lucia before the aircraft was returned to Piarco on Thursday.
Trinidad and Tobago Airline Pilots Association (TTALPA) has reportedly been invited to a meeting with Caribbean Airlines executive to discuss their concerns.
TTALPA’s executive administrator Shelly Sadaphal told Trinidad Guardian, ““We appreciate the company’s understanding of our deep concern for the current situation on the ATR fleet. We hope that our concerns can be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction and that we are able to arrive at an amicable solution to this grave situation.”