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Dominican Republic passengers arrive on two smaller aircraft

Lawrence Scott, the chief executive of ScottsCraft, the parent company of TXKF Direct (File photograph)

Bermudian-bound air passengers who had to return to the Dominican Republic mid-flight on Monday evening because of a technical problem with the aircraft are returning to the island on two separate aircraft.

Lawrence Scott, the chief executive of ScottsCraft, the parent company of TXKF Direct, the charter service operating the flight, said that two smaller recovery aircraft — able to carry only half the number of passengers as the original jet — are being used to bring the passengers to Bermuda.

He said one landed in Bermuda on Tuesday evening and the second was due to arrive in Bermuda yesterday.

The original aircraft had to turn back because the long-range radio equipment needed to communicate with the air traffic control tower stopped working en route. Mr Scott said this week that the captain decided to return to the departure airport “out of an abundance of caution”.

Mr Scott told The Royal Gazette yesterday: “We had recovery aircraft that were smaller than the original so had fewer seats — about half the number — so we did two trips.

“The radio needed a part that was not readily available. We always have a contingency plan, in this case a recovery aircraft has been activated. However, the team will have post-mortems but the important matter is that our contingency plan handled both the expected and unexpected, and at no time was there a question to the safety of the passengers or the aircraft.”

News of the returned flight came just days after Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour, issued Immigration and Protection (Prohibition of Entry) Order 2023, which requires passengers from 115 countries, including the Dominican Republic, to have a transit visa to enter Bermuda.

Mr Scott added: “Some of the original passengers are on board the rescheduled flights. Because of the new order, we had to re-vet the passengers to see if they were still in compliance with the said order. Some were not and did not board even though they had been to the island previously without the transit visa.”

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Published August 17, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated August 17, 2023 at 7:34 am)

Dominican Republic passengers arrive on two smaller aircraft

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