Damaged Bahamasair plane hasn’t affected schedules
Senior Business Reporter
Published: Mar 17, 2017
Bahamasair’s flight schedules have not been significantly affected by an out-of-service aircraft, as the company awaits the arrival of structural engineers from French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR to assess the damage caused to the aircraft following the passage of a tornado early Tuesday morning.
Chairman of Bahamasair Valentine Grimes told Guardian Business yesterday that Bahamasair is fortunate its busy season will not begin until after Easter.
The Department of Meteorology did not issue a severe weather warning Tuesday morning before severe weather around Lynden
Pindling International Airport led to a tornado damaging the $20 million Bahamasair ATR aircraft.
The Nassau Airport Development Company said Tuesday that while operations were not impacted, parked vehicles on the airport’s compound were shoved around by strong winds, while the roof of a ticket booth at the airport was damaged and several trees snapped.
The most expensive damage from the storm will likely be to the ATR aircraft, which is currently being assessed.
Grimes said an engineer from ATR in Miami is currently in town doing initial assessments, while two structural engineers from ATR’s headquarters in France are on the way to take a look at the plane.
“We expect two structural engineers to arrive on Saturday from France,” Grimes said.
“Those two engineers, because they are structural engineers, will be in a better position to give us a more comprehensive assessment on the level of damage the aircraft sustained.”
Grimes said after the engineers have completed their assessments they will be able to tell Bahamasair what needs to be repaired and what needs to be replaced. Bahamasair will then have a final assessment of the cost of the damage.
Grimes added that Bahamasair has been working closely with its insurance company to ensure it gets the aircraft up and running in a timely manner. If it is not able to be repaired in a timely manner, Grimes said Bahamasair might have to look at leasing a similar aircraft, if one is available, when the season picks up after Easter.
“Fortunately during his week and the forthcoming weeks there isn't a heavy demand,” he said.
The damaged aircraft serviced both domestic and international routes, flying between Nassau and Ft. Lauderdale and Nassau and Miami, and also flying between Nassau and Abaco.