BY HORACE HINES & ROCHELLE CLAYTON
MONTEGO BAY, St James (Jamaica Observer) — It’s not unusual for passengers to applaud when the wheels of an aeroplane touch Jamaican soil, but the cheers that erupted Wednesday evening on-board the Eurowings flight from Frankfurt had added meaning. They signalled the safe arrival of 20 Jamaican students who days earlier had escaped war-ravaged Ukraine.
“I wasn’t able to see the students because they were not sitting in the same section that I sat in. But, overall, it was a cool flight, no complaints,” said Swedish national Gustav Dahlin, who shared the same flight. “There was actually applause when the plane landed.”
From early evening, anticipation ran high among staff at Sangster International Airport (SIA), many expressing well wishes for the students and praising the Jamaican Government for bringing them home.
Among those who warmly welcomed the return of the students was Paul Nelson, a red cap porter at the airport.
“I am extremely delighted to know that our students are coming home. As a red cap I should lift my hat to give thanks to the Father for his blessings to get these kids home. I know their parents must be as elated as I [am],” Nelson told the Jamaica Observer.
Ground transportation operator Steve Spence, who was equally in high spirits, heaped praises on the Government for making arrangements to get the Jamaican students out of the war zone.
“It was good for the Government to send for the kids, because if they remained there we don’t know what could have happened. We could lose them, or something bad could have happened to them. But for them to come here I think it is one of the best things for them,” Spence stated.