Violence forces Air J to cancel 3 flights

Tuesday, May 25, 2010    

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THE violent stand-off between the security forces and criminal elements in West Kingston yesterday forced Air Jamaica to cancel three of its flights.

The airline announced the cancellations of flights JM 037, which was scheduled to depart Kingston at 5:35 pm for Fort Lauderdale; JM 036, scheduled to depart Fort Lauderdale at 9:25 pm for Kingston; JM017, scheduled to depart Kingston at 7:25 pm for New York mere minutes after the police stormed Tivoli Gardens, in an effort to bring in reputed don Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, who is wanted by United States to face drug and gun charges.

And the airline last night announced later departure time for flights to Fort Lauderdale and New York as well as flight from the two locations to Kingston, in what it said was an attempt to ensure the safety of its passengers travelling at nights and early morning because of the unrest in the city.

Security officials, who had been biding their time since the warrant was issued for Coke last Tuesday, finally moved in after the gunmen's offence, which began last Thursday, got worse.

In a statement yesterday, Air Jamaica -- whose operations were recently taken over by Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines -- cited the "unrest in Kingston" as the reason for the cancellations.

The airline said passengers should contact its Reservations Centre at 1-888-FLY-AIRJ (1-888-359-2475) for updates and to revise their itineraries. The entity further advised that updates would be available through the media and its website,, and encouraged Air Jamaica staff in Kingston to continue monitoring the media for updates on the situation.

In the meantime, it said operations continued as scheduled at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

When contacted yesterday afternoon, the Airports Authority of Jamaica said up to that point, no other airline had notified it of any cancellations.





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