Valentine’s heartbreak for florists averted in no time – The Royal Gazette
Updated: February 12, 2022 08:15
A transport crisis on Valentine’s Day meant frantic florists found themselves almost empty-handed on their biggest sales day of the year.
But disaster was averted after the flowers arrived and shops were filled with flowers after two absences this week by the island’s only jet service for perishables.
Gary Saltus of Flowers by GiMi in Hamilton sounded the alarm on Wednesday.
Gary Saltus, owner of Flowers by GiMi, collects a shipment of flowers that arrived just in time for Valentine’s Day (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
He said: “We have hundreds of orders for Valentine’s Day and all the florists in Bermuda are in the same boat.
“Something is wrong here. What condition will these flowers be in when we get them? »
The Cargojet 247 from Newark was grounded Tuesday and Wednesday due to a mechanical problem.
Florists, with order books full for Valentine’s Day next Monday, faced a relentless wait to see if the plane would arrive on time.
Mr Saltus, however, said yesterday the flower consignment arrived late Thursday in ‘flawless’ condition.
But his wife Gita Blakeney, co-owner of the company, said the Cargojet service monopoly had the potential to cause huge problems.
Supply issues with Cargojet this week had put Gary Saltus’ business seriously behind on Valentine’s Day flower deliveries (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
She added: “I think I will be the voice of many when I say there is real fatigue with this – especially with all this anxiety leading up to one of the biggest days of the year for us. .
“You are talking about perishables. There has been a lot of frustration with Cargojet and getting our products.
“The impact of something like this could be crippling for small businesses. We spend a lot of overtime catching up and of course we lose money sometimes having to reimburse customers.
Ms Blakeney said two days without fresh flowers at the airport meant two days of lost business.
She added: “Small businesses can ill afford this. When it becomes a pattern, it makes it really intolerable.
“You know you are losing money – especially after going through two years of Covid-19 with the lack of weddings and events.”
Ms Blakeney said that “there have always been problems with Cargojet”.
She added that the introduction of cargo service seemed “an answer to our prayers” as imports were removed from commercial flights from the United States if planes were full of passengers.
But Ms Blakeney explained: ‘There have been issues with delays and cancellations, mainly caused by mechanical issues.
“There was no courtesy in terms of explanation.”
The couriers apologized to customers this week for the delayed packages, but stressed that the cancellations and delays had also affected previous flights.
Carmen Phillips, of Demco Florists in Devonshire, said it was “everyone on deck” after a shipment of flowers landed on Thursday.
She added: “We finally got a full cargo plane in yesterday and we were able to get them down and inspect them.
“Still, it was a long day and a late night. It’s not like it’s clothing – these items are very time sensitive.
Ms Phillips said: ‘It’s been very trying for us and it was hard not to get upset. We understand that things happen.
“My personal irritation is that we are so isolated and have only one option.
“Unfortunately, this happened at one of the busiest times of our year.
“Having no other option is frustrating. We are held at the mercy of a single service.