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Trouble on CAL jet

By Carla Bridglal

ON the heels of State-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) coming to the rescue of stranded EZjet passengers is the news that a CAL plane experienced technical difficulties with one of its 737-800 aircraft yesterday.

In a release yesterday, CAL said oxygen masks were deployed after indications of low cabin pressure on flight BW884 en route from Suriname to Piarco. The airline said the flight continued safely after the masks deployed and arrived at Piarco at 6.45 a.m. There were 66 passengers on board.

Speaking to the Express via telephone, Williams said investigations were still ongoing as to what caused to masks to deploy.

This is the third time in less than a month that a CAL plane has experienced some sort of technical incident. In late October one of the new ATR 72-600 aircraft had to return shortly after takeoff from Piarco to Caracas, Venezuela. Last Monday CAL's Boeing 767 aircraft was temporarily grounded in Toronto, Canada after officials noticed an indicator light drawing attention to a wing flap.

Nevertheless, over the weekend CAL came to the rescue of EZjet passengers who found themselves unexpectedly stranded after that airline suspended all flights because of financial constraints on Friday.

In the wake of the suspension of EZjet's licence, CAL's chairman Rabindra Moonan and other CAL officials, including vice-chair Mohan Jaikaran and acting CEO Robert Corbie met Guyana's President Donald Ramotar, acting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali, Public Works Minister Robeson Benn and other local officials for talks at the request of the Guyana government.

The meeting was held at the President's official State House residence.

According to the Guyana Government Information Agency, CAL promised to put on additional flights within the coming week to bolster its efforts at accommodation, and, as a medium-term measure, operate a dry-lease aircraft from Georgetown to New York on to Toronto.

CAL is at present accumulating the passenger statistics from EZjet but Moonan said travellers can rest assured that they will be accommodated.

President Ramotar said he was pleased with the positive response from CAL, in that it not only agreed to hold fares on par with EZjet, but also throw on additional flights.

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