Following is the full statement released by former Prime Minister Patrick Manning announcing his decision to decline the nomination for the Order of the Republic:...
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Stranded CAL passengers want back $$
Stranded passengers of Caribbean Airlines are calling for reimbursement of ticket fares. Those calls were made after CAL cancelled all flights to Tobago following sickout action on Tuesday by 24 of its pilots. Speaking with T&T Guardian yesterday, Tobagonian teacher, Deryck Wright, said he and his team from the Speyside High School were forced to take the Tobago ferry’s 5 pm sailing.
He said: “After our flight was cancelled we had to head immediately to the ferry’s terminal in Port-of-Spain to catch the 5 pm sailing out of here.
“It is an unfortunate situation but at least we are glad to be back home in Tobago. We intend to contact the airline to enquire about reimbursements because if flights were cancelled the company ought to reimburse ticket fares.”
The T&T Guardian was told some flights were back to normal as pilots resumed duties. However, CAL advised passengers to check its Web site before they made their way to the airport.
In a statement late yesterday the airline assured passengers that all disruptions from the unprecedented pilot shortage of Tuesday have been addressed. CAL said the domestic airbridge operated at full capacity for the full day and international flights operated to schedule with minor delays in some cases as a result of the disruptions the day before.
CEO Michael DiLollo said: “We are again fully operational. I must extend sincere gratitude to our customers for their patience and understanding during the disruption of the past day and for their continued loyalty.”
He praised his employees for their role in the successful management of the affected passengers and for the speed at which the recovery operations were actioned.
“Our committed employees have conducted themselves to the highest levels of customer service,” he said.
Members of the T&T Pilots Association (TTALPA) again met with company officials last evening. TTALPA’s industrial relations consultant, Gerard Pinard, said a release would be issued later today as to what transpired in that meeting.
“I am not at liberty to say what went on in the meeting because I await the council to come together to discuss the outcome of that meeting. When that happens a release will be issued,” Pinard said.
In the Senate yesterday PNM Senator Faris Al-Rawi called on the Government to deal with the situation. He said: “I am concerned about the citizens of this country losing their hard-earned money because of cancellations. I hope this unlawful industrial action is dealt with. Pilots are sabotaging this country.”
Al-Rawi raised concerns over Pinard’s encouragement to the pilots to take industrial action.
He said: “I am very concerned to see a gentleman by the name of Gerard Pinard. He is the person associated with the unlawful industrial action in a strike at the airport. Very surprised to know that he is the same man sitting at the Salaries Review Commission (SRC) for over 20 years.”