MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – The following is a statement from Jamaica’s Minster of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett:
“I am pleased to report that Sangster International Airport in Jamaica’s resort capital of Montego Bay is open for business following a brief closure due to an incident involving a mentally challenged armed man who boarded CanJet flight 918 at approximately 22:30 CDT April 19. The flight was due to travel from Montego Bay to Santa Clara, Cuba. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 which carries 189 passengers, was being operated for Transat Tours Canada.
“We are relieved that the efforts of security authorities in Jamaica were able to successfully negotiate the release of all 174 passengers and eight crew members without harm, bringing this matter to a peaceful end. Since I am in the United Kingdom on business for the Ministry of Tourism, I am very grateful to the Honorable Prime Minister Bruce Golding who traveled to the scene immediately to provide assistance to the authorities. The Prime Minister has spoken with the passengers and crew extending his support and empathy.
“The passengers and crew are being accommodated at two local area hotels awaiting their flight departure later today. CanJet is making an additional aircraft available to any passengers who want to return to Canada.
“MBJ Airports Jamaica Ltd. is advising that all systems for International flights are ready and in place for all arrivals and departures.
“CanJet has an information line available for anyone with questions about family or relatives who may have been on board CanJet flight 918. The number is 1-888-777-6429. Information can also be found on the CanJet website at www.canjet.com. ”