(CNN) — Air traffic control got here to a cease for components of Thursday morning and afternoon in Jamaica, forcing flight cancellations and leaving hundreds of annoyed passengers stranded there or unable to achieve the Caribbean island.

MBJ Airports Limited, the operator of Sangster International Airport close to the favored resort vacation spot of Montego Bay, confirmed in a information launch to CNN that flights have been canceled on Thursday morning “because of the suspension of air traffic companies.”

The airport’s arrivals board began displaying cancellations round 9:30 a.m. native time on May 12. The departures board additionally beginning posting cancellations round 10:30 a.m.

American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United flights have been canceled, amongst others.

It was the same story at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, the capital metropolis. Arrivals began being canceled round 11:30 a.m., and departures have been canceled beginning at 12:19 p.m.

Kurt Solomon, president of Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers Association, instructed CNN that flights have been resuming as of 5 p.m. native time on May 12.

Robert Nesta Morgan, minister with out portfolio with duty for data in the Office of the Prime Minister, posted a information launch on his Twitter account confirming that flights have been resuming.

“The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) needs to advise the general public that, as dialogue progresses between the Authority and its key stakeholders, significantly the Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers Association (JATCA), air traffic companies are presently being restored,” the discharge stated.

Since that point, Sangster confirmed one departure, Delta Flight DL1987 at 5:07 p.m. Manley confirmed one arrival, British Airways Flight BA2263 at 4:43 p.m.

Limited staffing

Sharon Hislop, supervisor of business growth and advertising and marketing at Sangster, instructed CNN that the airport was notified Thursday morning that the air traffic control heart in Kingston did not have sufficient assist for air traffic due to “restricted staffing.”

The JCAA then determined to droop air traffic companies and flights, Hislop stated.

The air traffic control heart in Kingston controls operations for all three worldwide airports in Jamaica: Sangster, Manley and Ian Fleming International Airport in Ocho Rios.

CNN Travel reached out to the JCAA for remark by way of e mail and telephone on Thursday afternoon however had not acquired a reply as of 8 p.m. ET.

Passengers are shown stranded in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on May 12, 2022.

Passengers are proven stranded in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on May 12, 2022.


Hislop estimated there have been about 100 passengers on every flight affected by the suspension of companies.

Shops on the airport have been set to stay open into the night time as some passengers have been anticipated keep at Sangster in a single day, Hislop instructed CNN.

Local media referred to the state of affairs as a strike, although no officers contacted by CNN confirmed that was the case.

“That’s what we have been listening to, however we will not know for positive,” Hislop stated when requested whether or not a strike by air traffic controllers led to the restricted staffing that in flip led to suspension of flights.

Solomon stated “a contingency group” that was working Thursday morning on the Kingston Air Traffic Control Center was unable to proceed and that group stopped. Solomon was unable to say why they stopped working.

The contingency group is made up of administration personnel for air traffic controllers.

Solomon additionally instructed CNN there have been persistent tools points on the Kingston Air Traffic Control Center, they usually have been ongoing for a number of years.

Passenger frustrations

Justin Novak instructed CNN he was flying from Toronto to Montego Bay on Thursday when his flight was circled half-hour earlier than touchdown.

Novak says that the pilots did not say a lot besides that they have been pressured to show round.

“It was a tense return dwelling. Mixed reactions however the majority visibly upset,” Novak stated.

Novak was headed to Jamaica for an eight-day trip together with his spouse. He’ll now lose two of the times due to the delays, he stated.

“What I do not perceive Is apparently they knew this was taking place however nonetheless allow us to board the aircraft.=,” Novak added. “We are rescheduled for 12 p.m. tomorrow [Friday, May 13], however who is aware of what is going to occur.”

Erin Fletcher Langen additionally hit issues on Thursday as she was flying from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Jamaica for work.

She was on a layover in Atlanta when the issues began. Her flight was delayed, then canceled after which there was hope when officers instructed them that Sangster (MBJ) reopened. Then it was formally canceled once more.

“It was a curler coaster of feelings. When they stated MBJ was opening, everybody cheered and clapped. When they stated it was canceled (once more), folks weren’t essentially mad, however unhappy. People have been crying.” Fletcher Langen stated.

She stated folks on the airport have been saying how they have not traveled in a very long time and lots of people have been touring for weddings.

She stated she hopes to fly out on a rescheduled flight on Friday.

Waivers supplied

American Airlines, which had extra flights affected at Sangster than another airline, issued a waiver for change charges to affected passengers.

“Due to air traffic service disruptions impacting air journey in Jamaica, Delta has issued a journey waiver  for these whose journey could also be impacted between May 12-13,” it stated on its information web site.

“This waiver permits the fare distinction for patrons to be waived when rebooked journey happens on or earlier than May 16, 2022 the identical cabin of service as initially booked.”

You ought to examine together with your provider in case your flight was disrupted.

Top picture: A basic view of Norman Manley International Airport from 2016. (Henry Romero/Reuters)

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.