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(Toronto) Elected leaders at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) offered praise today for the flight crew on board Air Transat Flight 236, which made an emergency landing in the Azores early on August 24th.

Flight attendants are professional safety workers, said Judy Darcy, CUPEs national president. It comes as no surprise to me that the cabin personnel on board that flight handled the emergency landing and evacuation of passengers with expertise and courage.

Charlie Ezerzer, president of the Air Transat component of CUPE, spoke with the eleven flight attendants not long after the emergency landing. The cabin personnel handled the situation exactly as they were trained to do, said Ezerzer. They saw nearly 300 passengers through the emergency landing procedure, including assisting them into life jackets and instructing them on how to brace for impact. As you can imagine, this was no small challenge given the level of fear among the passengers after engines began to fail.

Ezerzer added that the entire crew has been overwhelmed by the support shown by the Portuguese community, both in Toronto and on Terceira, the island where the plane made its landing.

Frano0069s Bellemare, president of the Airline Division of CUPE, added his own praise for the crew members on the Air Transat flight. Once the plane landed, a full evacuation was ordered and the flight attendants evacuated all passengers in under two minutes, said Bellemare. This requires exceptional skill and calm on the part of crew members, and they clearly executed their responsibilities with a great deal of competence.

The Airline Division of CUPE represents over 10, 000 flight attendants in Canada, including 1500 at Air Transat.


For more information:

Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications

(416) 738-4329 (cellular)