Bahamasair cancels flights due to sick-out

Bahamasair said it experienced “major disruptions” and canceled flights after 80 percent of its flight attendants called in sick yesterday.

The canceled routes included Rock Sound/Exuma, Freeport, Marsh Harbour, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

Neither Anthony Kikivarakis, the airline’s chairman, nor Tracy Cooper, the chief operating officer, responded to requests for comment last night on how many passengers were impacted by the flight cancellations. 

In a statement, Bahamasair said it was experiencing industrial action by members of the Airport Airline Allied Workers Union (AAAWU).

“The action today involved a sick-out by most of our flight attendants (80 percent) which was the cause of major disruptions to the airline’s flight schedule,” the airline said.

“Management outlines that the action taken was unforeseen and unwarranted as the airline is in constructive dialogue with union executives and have concluded most matters relating to the agreement.

“We are disappointed in the actions taken but we are continuing our dialogue and expect a closure to the two remaining items shortly. We have reached out to the Labour Board to assist us in this closure.”

AAAWU President Gladstone Adderley did not respond to requests for comment last night.

The Nassau Guardian understands that the Orlando to Nassau flight was scheduled for 11 a.m. but was delayed to 6 p.m. before ultimately being canceled.

Videos circulated of scores of frustrated travelers who were stuck at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) yesterday as a result of the flight cancellations.

This is the second industrial action to impact aviation operations in The Bahamas in recent months.

In July, a sick-out at LPIA and 17 Family Island airports brought operations to a crawl, resulting in great frustration among passengers, as members of the Bahamas Public Services Union took action over the government’s failure to conclude an industrial agreement and provide money union officials said was owed.

“Let me just say that as a result of this action, there are all losers,” Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper said at the time.

“This is an issue of significance to the economy and to the tourism industry, our reputation as a country and tourist destination.”

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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