Pivot Airlines says flight crew detained in Dominican Republic returned to Canada

TORONTO—The crew of a Pivot Airlines plane detained in the Dominican Republic since April has landed in Toronto and been reunited with loved ones.

Chief Executive Eric Edmondson said in a statement Thursday night that the crew had shown “incredible courage and resilience through horrific ordeal” and had been held for nearly eight months. .

He said it took a heavy toll on their lives and the lives of their families.

The crew was detained in the Caribbean nation on April 5 after 200 kilograms of cocaine were found in the plane’s avionics bay and reported to police in Punta Cana.

Two pilots, two flight attendants and a part-time maintenance engineer were jailed and later released on bail after surrendering their passports pending further investigation.

After the cocaine discovery, the Air Pilots Association, the Civil Service Union of Canada and Unifor said their members were arbitrarily detained, threatened and prosecuted despite following Transport Canada protocols and international law.

“Their unwavering commitment to public safety and the rule of law is a testament to the professionalism of all our Canadian crew,” said Edmondson.

“Pivot Airlines would like to thank all those who advocated on behalf of our crew, including CUPE, ALPA, Unifor, Senator David Wells and our government partners.”

The Dominican Republic’s Drug Enforcement Administration announced in an April 6 release that it had found “eight black parcels” in the avionics bay of a commercial flight from Punta Cana International Airport to Toronto.

Each package contained 25 small packets containing cocaine.

The Directorate General said at the time that nine Canadians, one Dominican and one Indian were under investigation.

canadian press