Regional carrier Caribbean Airlines, CAL, says all international and domestic flights will be affected today, after pilots called in sick.
In an internal memorandum to all staff, the Chief Executive Officer of CAL Michael DiLollo says the action by the pilots is unfortunate as it comes at the beginning of CAL’s critical summer season.
Mr. DiLollo says the airline’s management and the Trinidad and Tobago Pilot’s Association TTALPA, which represents the pilots, had dialogue prior to the sick out.
CAL says it will continue to urge further discussions with the TTALPA, while exploring all available options.
Mr. DiLollo is concerned about the potential negative impact of the disruptions on its passengers.
He says its a serious breach of its unspoken contract with them and CAL will try to reduce the delays.
He says passengers should confirm their flight times with the Flight Status Tool on the website at www.caribbean-airlines.com prior to arrival at the airport, to avoid any further inconvenience.
Meanwhile the spokesperson for the TTALPA, Shelly Sadathal, says while the union cannot sanction the action of the pilots it will defend them against any disciplinary action taken by CAL.
Pilots in both Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have been in a prolonged wage dispute with CAL.
The pilots say they are owed balances on their salaries for the period 2010 to 2013.
This includes the variable incentives pay, which is about 20-percent of their salary.
The Jamaican pilots say they haven’t received this payment since 2012.
Ms. Sadathal says negotiations between CAL and TTALPA broke down in 2012.