By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
BAHAMASAIR workers were forced to evacuate their headquarters after the building’s air-conditioning system began smoking due to an electrical shortage.
The airline confirmed its flight schedule was not impacted by the early morning incident; however, staff at its head office on Coral Harbour Road were asked to leave for the day.
“At no time, were staff members in any danger as they were immediately asked to evacuate,” a press statement noted.
“Initial assessments indicate a power surge, resulting in an electrical shortage in the condenser/blower of the air conditioning system. This resulted in smoke being pulled into the building and giving the impression of a fire.
“As a result of the incident, we have released all head office personnel for the remainder of the day to ensure all health and safety precautions were taken. They have been asked to report to work in the morning – pending any unforeseen developments.
“The public is further advised that the airline is fully functional and this incident has in no way impacted our schedule.”
The incident follows a disastrous holiday season for the airline, marked by a series of flight delays and cancellations for both international and domestic flights.
Last week, the airline’s managing director Tracy Cooper blamed the airline’s recent failures on several “mitigating circumstances” that were compounded despite the company’s best efforts to right itself.
Mr Cooper said while the airline had prepared for various scenarios which included aspects of what transpired, none of its contingencies could address the issues that arose collectively.
Among those circumstances: two of the airline’s planes were grounded due to repairs and maintenance, and the stand-by aircraft the airline had subleased, a MiamiAir 168-seater, was unable to render assistance due to weather.
Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar blamed the airline’s “vexing business model” after 17 passengers - and virtually all bags - were recently thrown off a flight to Marsh Harbour.
Mr D’Aguilar told Tribune Business that Bahamasair’s “lack of scale”, with a fleet featuring just eight planes, meant “customer service disasters” such as those that have occurred repeatedly over the Christmas period are bound to “persist” with no good options available for resolving them.