by Dominique Lescott
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Nevis based commercial airline pilot Sean Springette is keen to return to the cockpit after COVID-19 has grounded travel for 20 months.
WINN FM’s news team spoke to Springette, a commercial pilot for Air Sunshine based in Nevis about the National Task Force allowing commercial pilots to resume flying. “The pandemic has turned into a life or death situation”. “We have moved from a pandemic of COVID to a pandemic of the unemployed”.
The 43 year old says that his employer Air Sunshine, has been in conversation with the National COVID-19 Task Force about the resumption of flights.
The National Task Force requested updated travel protocols, as Air Sunshine serves islands other St. Kitts and Nevis. Air Sunshine completed the updates but remains grounded in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Springette expressed frustration that despite all pilots being vaccinated and Air Sunshine following guidelines, the airline is still unable to fly.
“We chose to vaccinate because of the different destinations that we go to. We’re not careless, we travel with passengers and we travel safely.”
Springette confirmed that pilots are all vaccinated, that pilots do not come into direct contact with passengers, as this is the agent’s role and the aircrafts are sanitised and passengers are expected to wear masks on the aircraft.
According to Springette’s account, Air Sunshine initiated correspondence in May 2020 and at the end of October 2021 with the National Task Force but they are still awaiting feedback on their updated protocols.
Springette remains keen to get back in the air and said, “We knew COVID-19 was coming but we didn’t know enough about it to know how rapidly it would have an impact”.
“Within two months, I was grounded”, says Springette.
After the Air Sunshine base in Tortola got destroyed in 2017 by the hurricane, operations were relocated to Nevis.