Jamaica's Minister of Tourism Issues Statement


Speaking at a press conference earlier today at Sangster International Airport, Jamaica's Prime Minister the Honorable Bruce Golding and Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper praised the successful handling of the situation involving the CanJet Boeing 737-800.  Both commended the personal bravery and professionalism of all involved.

Jamaica's Prime Minister Bruce Golding had high praises for the members of the island's security team (Police and JDF) who played a pivotal role in bringing the ordeal to a peaceful end.  The joint security team successfully disarmed the gunman who is now in custody and being interrogated by authorities.

Prime Minister Golding's Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper, who was in Jamaica for a three-day working visit, also praised the island's security for their competency in bringing the stand-off to a peaceful resolution.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Harper expressed his gratitude to Jamaica's Prime Minister for his personal engagement in the matter and the crew of CanJet flight 918.  "Today is a day to be truly joyful. It's very rare we have events like this that end so well," Harper said.

Prime Minister Golding told journalists that he has ordered an immediate investigation by the Ministry of Transport and Works, the Civil Aviation Authority and relevant agencies.

"We have an unblemished record of airline and airport safety. We have never had anything of this kind in Jamaica before and it's a record we are determined must be protected and preserved," noted Golding.

Jamaica's Prime Minister also announced the goodwill gesture by hotelier Gordon 'Butch' Stewart who has offered all passengers and crew a one-week stay at any Sandals resort in Jamaica at any time they are prepared.

Wayne Cummings, President of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourism Association said, “This gesture by Mr. Stewart is indicative of the level of cooperation that exits between the public and private sectors in Jamaica.  Our combined goal is to provide unparalleled hospitality to all who visit our shores.”

A CanJet aircraft is en-route from Montreal via Toronto to Montego Bay to take passengers and crew on to Santa Clara, Cuba, or back to Canada should they wish to return home.

CanJet is owned by Halifax-based IMP Group Ltd.  Canadian-based Vancouver Airport Services (YVR AS) is a shareholder of MBJ Airports Ltd which operates Sangster International Airport.

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