Caribbean Airlines is investigating reports of an alleged incident regarding JetBlue 1295, and BW flight 526 on Saturday night (17th January) at JFK airport, New York.
The Trinidad Express had reported that passengers on board the JetBlue flight bound for Austin, Texas, narrowly escaped injury after a Caribbean Airlines jet reportedly crossed the runway in front of the craft as it prepared to take off.
The newspaper said, “Shortly before 9 p.m. on Saturday, JetBlue Flight 1295 was making its way down the runway at Kennedy International Airport in New York, when the pilots saw Caribbean Airlines Flight 526 crossing the runway in front of them.”
Reports are that the pilots immediately hit the brakes, avoiding a collision, and alerted the tower of the incident. According to an Associated Press (AP) report, JetBlue spokesman Rick Clark said the flight had been going at high speed when the incident occurred.
JetBlue has said the Caribbean Airlines flight was not authorised to use the runway at that time. The incident caused a three-hour delay. However, passengers arrived safely in Texas early yesterday (Sunday) morning.
Passengers on the JetBlue flight spoke with ABC’s Eyewitness News, saying it was a terrifying experience.“One minute we were going really fast and the next minute the brakes just slammed on,” one passenger said. Another passenger said she suffered “a huge whiplash”.
A Caribbean Airlines spokeswoman said the airline is concerned to hear of the incident and is taking the “runway incursion” allegation very seriously. The spokeswoman added that Caribbean Airlines is in the process of investigating the facts of the incident in cooperation with all regulator agencies.
“In the interim, Caribbean Airlines is complying with all incident management procedures included within its Safety Management System and adjunct regulations,” she said.