On Tuesday, many Bahamasair Airline passengers were left stranded or significantly delayed as a sickout by pilots stretched into a second day at the height of the travel season. According to the airline, pilots were demanding more pay. The chairman of Bahamasair, Valentine Grimes, explain that the action taken by the pilots have forced officials to withdraw offers that were made to provide a salary increase.
Grimes said, “their action has caused the airline substantial losses and have caused the public a tremendous inconvenience.”
“We again apologize to the public, but these were circumstances beyond the control of the board and management. If they take illegal industrial action and do not work, the work, the pilots ought not expect that they will be paid. They are excellent pilots and they are very, very well paid.”
Former Free National Movement chairman, Darron Cash, who was also among the delayed passengers on Tuesday night described the situation at the airport as “complete and utter chaos.”
“It is a complete failure of leadership,” he added.
“The people on the frontline seem to be doing the best they can, but they are completely without reliable, consistent information from their leadership in Nassau, so they have customers running back and forth trying to figure out what to do,” he added.
A resident of Bahamas who was travelling to Fort Lauderdale with expectations to arrive at 8p.m., Don Knowles, said he was asked to return to the airport at 8p.m.
“It is just ridiculous because now I have lost my car, my accommodations,” Knowles said. “The only thing they (Bahamasair) are giving you is vouchers. They do not want to give you a refund for you to go on another airline. So, I do not know what is going on. It is ridiculous. Only in The Bahamas does everyone want to profit when the company is not making any money.”