American Airlines Operates Flight Crewed Solely By Jamaicans

American Airlines operated its first-ever flight crewed solely by Jamaicans on the weekend. The flight, of course, was to Jamaica.

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American Airlines has just operated its first all Jamaican crewed flight. Photo: American Airlines.

An all-Jamaican crew on AA2370

American Airlines flight AA2370 flew from Kingston to Miami on Sunday, 23 February 2020. There were two pilots and four flight attendants on board. They were all Jamaican.

American Airlines all-jamaican
The all-Jamaican crew came about by coincidence. Photo: American Airlines via Twitter

According to a report in Caribbean National Weekly, this was a first for American Airlines. A local spokesperson for American Airlines told the news outlet;

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“American Airlines has a long history in Jamaica, with 43 years operating in the country, and this is the first time that we’ve ever had an all-Jamaican crew operating one of our flights.”

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She went on to say how American Airlines values diversity and how this flight demonstrates that. She did not say why it took American Airlines 43 years to demonstrate that diversity.

American-airlines-jamaican-crew
American Airlines says diversity and inclusion is a way of life. Photo: American Airlines via Facebook.

One flight attendant told the Caribbean National Weekly;

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“Being a part of the all-Jamaican crew was exciting, to say the least. We were shocked and excited when all four cabin crew were all-Jamaican but when we found out the cockpit crew both are Jamaican as well, we realized it was an unusual and special occasion.

“The passengers were also excited…we were all able to speak to them in Patois. It made for a very upbeat, fun flight and you could feel the pride and excitement of the passengers.”

It only took 43 years to happen

While the flight is great publicity for American Airlines, you do have to wonder why it took so long for it to happen at all. After all, if diversity is at the heart of everything AA does, then surely an all-Jamaican flight would have happened naturally at some point in the last four decades?

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American Airlines has flown to Jamaica for 43 years but only last weekend managed an all Jamaican crew. American Airlines via Facebook.

Nevertheless, American Airlines clearly takes a stance of ‘better late than never’ and finally operated this landmark flight from Jamaica. It’s progress, albeit slow progress. First Officer Shaun Nelson said it best;

“Jamaicans are a proud set of people and when passengers hear the Jamaican accent coming from the cockpit it makes them feel good. You get a lot of ‘Respect Mon’ and ‘Big Up’ when we greet and say goodbye to those passengers.”

AA’s diversity at the top

This got me thinking. American Airlines makes a big deal about diversity and inclusion, calling it a way of life. Which is great. The world is a diverse place and any business, including an airline, should reflect the makeup of the world around them.

Where better to check out AA’s diversity in action than at the top, at the board of directors. There are 10 directors, including two caucasian women, two African American men, and six caucasian men.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/customer-service/about-us/corporate-governance.jsp
Denise O’Leary, one of just two women on the American Airlines board. Photo: American Airlines

Now, I’d argue that any board should recruit based on ability and talent rather than any affirmative action quotas. But 60% of the current board are caucasian males. My guess is they are not former blue-collar workers either – these are your bog-standard upscale professional director types. I’m happy to be corrected but this board and its bias towards upscale professional director types seem not to reflect the wider mash-up of markets American Airlines serves, both at home and abroad.

Anyway, this might help explain why it took 43 years to get an all-Jamaican crew on a Jamaica flight. Here’s hoping it won’t take that long to see it happen again. And maybe soon it won’t be news. It will just be normal, or to quote AA, a way of life. That would be good.

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Leave a Reply

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Claudette Jackson

Hey man big up yourselves, jamaicans. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

J. Guerrero

What an absolute feckless and insulated author.

Roy Ducker

How many Jamaican flight crew have AA got?, could that be the reason its took so long to get a full flight crew solely featuring Jamaican people?.

Vinnette Williams

Congratulations to the Jamaican crew

Joy Bass

Congratulations to the Jamaicans . I am sure They are many people out there who are feeling very proud today . This should have happened 43years ago but better late than never . I wish you all well . We are very proud people . Thank you AA for opening the way forward . I look forward to seeing many more flights

William

“Valuing Diversity” = virtue signalling, sanctimony.

Mark

So wait, having an all Jamaican crew demonstrates diversity? Somebody needs a dictionary.

Millicent

I was so excited when I read it (all Jamaican)it made my day.Proud of you all

Owenson Humphreys

I am glad to hear that this step is taken by professionalism and not by affirmative action

Noreen

Not news worthy. Just another gloating moment for this airline.

And a correction for you, Jamaicans are way ahead in education. Our systems are world class and being poor does not damper our achievements. We have been piloting planes for ever, including our own airline.

ONeil

Jamaicans are not strangers to aviation. We had our owned and operated our own International Airline that rivaled American Airlines and it might be a surprise to many Americans but Jamaicans flee fighter aircraft for the RAF in WW2 many gave their lives fighting n**i Germany. Respect Jamaicans

Cornell l daniel

Why isn’t a picture big this all Jamaican flight crew?

Mark

This is such an awkward, tortured, and confused take.

Barry

Look forward to flying with you guys it doesn’t who you are the training and ambition will see you achieved your goal nevertheless Jamaicans are ambitious people so we should expect a job well done.Congratulation to AA.

Hepsy F

Big up by GOD with him in the vessel we smile at every storm , “greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world” Amen

Sherif

It is great that AA had an all-Jamaican crew but I am totally lost on the attack on AA’s commitment to diversity. AA is not a Jamaican airline so there are not a ton of Jamaican born crew members and AA does not (in fact, it is illegal) roster crews based on race, ethnicity or nationality so I don’t see why the are getting slammed for this not occurring in the past.

Hubert Cowan

I am so proud of this jamaican

Mindy Clarke

How many Jamaicans do we have on Carribean Airline?

Hubert Cowan

I am so proud of this AA all Jamaican crew it take a long time but it finally happen as we would Big Up, we are big a yard and abrad

Hubert Cowan

I am so proud of AA all jamaican crew it take a while to get to here but you finally made it as we say in Jamaica ‘Big Up’ big a yard and abroad

O Henry

So proud of my fellow Jamaica’s, It’s so ironic that they all came together by chance. Always PROUD to say I am a Jamaican. Another show of Ja. greatness.

Jr. Edwards

This makes me so proud to be a jamaican born this is a story we can proudly share. Thanks be to God.

Evris

Im always very proud to be a Jamaican ,at this moment I’m even more proud.

Mark

The flight flew *from* Jamaica. Not to it.

Sandra Sewell

Can’t even find words to thank AAA for such an awesome decision, and thanks for saying “Jamaicans are very proud”. It’s just that we take pride in whatever we are doing, we believing doing it the right and best way. No half way job. Thanks to the crew members as well. Good job and keep it up.

Linda Clarke

As a Jamaican,it gave me goose bumps reading this article,its just Amazing.i wish i was on board as well.

Kelly Lynn Moore

Fantastic flight I’m sure it was🇯🇲
How I wish I could have been on that flight!!!

Maxine Simms

For those who are saying that it took 40 plus years. Let’s enjoy the moment… Its American Airlines not Jamaican. That’s a great accomplishment

Una Atkinson

Jamaicans can.

Richard Neyman

WOW…. I bet that flight was really really fun

Tara

Proud

Rochelle

So proud!!!

bob dobbs

Im sure all the Passengers were Jamaican on American Airlines….

Marcia Willis

I have never experience travelling before. But as a Jamaican reading this. I am so over whelmed myself. Hats off to you A/A and my Jamaican family,

Cheryl Brogan

Cant you be just be happy about anything?

Nope nono

All Jamaican crew to Jamaica. Next, all German crew to Germany, and so on. So much for diversity virtue signalling; you thrive on segregation at every turn.

Winsome

Wow!that good news am proud to be a jamaican nothing happens before the time big up to all you guys I can just imagine how you all four feel to be all jamaican crew members God bless you all

Ann-Marie

Congratulations Jamaican crew. I am so proud of you. And you make Jamaica proud. Better late than never, I suppose.

Ann-Marie

Congratulations Jamaican crew. I am proud of you. And you have made Jamaicans proud. It is unfortunate that it has taken this long to materialize. But better late than never, I suppose.

Ann-Marie H

Congratulations Jamaican crew. I am proud of you. And you have made Jamaicans proud. It is unfortunate that it has taken this long to materialize. But better late than never, I suppose.

Bob Headed

Went from a positive article to c**p not validated statements by Beaker.

Judz

Proud moment for Jamaica and Jamaicans. Hope this will be more of the norm. I am proud of the crew and proud to be a Jamaican in this season. Big up unno self.

Carol Foster

Your article is totally absurd. AA does not schedule flight crews based on nationality, race religion. It is based on seniority based only. The fact that this has not happened in 43 years is in actual fact the way airlines operate. It will probably never happen again for another 43 years. Seniority is the name of the game in this industry. BTW, AA is one of the most diversified companies in the US. Very stupid article especially since ALL employees attend diversity training each year.

Fish brain

Yow! Dats frigging awesome!!!!!!

Martha Meadowbrook

It took 43 years because they bid by seniority, not ethnicity. Bidding is blind to all things but seniority. Would be pertinent to your article to mention if they were junior, if it was a low quality schedule or perhaps the attendants traded to fly together. Cool that it happened, but really, your article sounds more like whining.

Denise "Evelynirie" Dunbar

Safe Travels in the in Spirit of all The Good Jamaican pilots and Stewardless of Air Jamaican that set the precedence of the High Quality of all Out the Ount many one People that is the flying with American Airlines
One Love One Heart!🇯🇲

Colleen Rhyant

It happened…..and that’s all that really matters. Glad AA saw it fit to bring this crew of talented Jamaicans together. More of this would be nice. Congrats!

John Smith

Political correctness taken to the extreme. I can tell you this would never be allowed in Asia – for example, THAI Airways only allows Thai nationals to be employed as pilots and cabin crew with one exception – for China and Japan bound flights, some limited numbers of cabin crew are from these countries. The reason being they are fluent in their languages, where few customers speak English. However, an all foreigner crew would be impossible.

gideon hanoomansingh

indeed, better late than never. We are looking forward to an all Trini female crew winging into Port of Spain. After all, it was T&T that produced the region’s first fenale pilot in Isabella Cabral (PPLJune 1948) then came YVONNE LANGE 2 months later.AA may not have in its employ Trini cockpit and cabin crews but I do believe that there’s a Trinidadian woman of Indian heritage who works or worked in a senior position in Delh. It would be great if AA starts featuring inflight T&T and Caribbean culture to demonstrate its diversity, not only resident in the islands but taken from a wealth of West Indian talent in the US.

Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt

Breaking news! A crew of human beings operated a flight!