Dynamic still grounded at JFK

-hopeful for weekend takeoff

With Dynamic Airways still to get clearance for takeoff by authorities at the John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York, the company yesterday turned to ferrying travellers out of Connecticut for connecting flights into Guyana.

The airline says that it hopes to obtain clearance and be able to fly out of JFK by this weekend.

“We are going through this long process to ensure that everyone reaches their destination and I know for some going to New Jersey or Connecticut is inconveniencing but I am optimistic that we will have this issue resolved by weekend ,” local representative for Dynamic Air-ways Gerry Gouveia told Stabroek News yesterday.

He explained that Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport was used because Atlantic City’s Airport did not have the necessary agents at the time for the scheduled flights and they travelled north to Bradley in the same estimated time for travel.

This option, he explain-ed, was taken because his company made a promise to not have any passenger stranded and he said travellers preferred being delayed for a few hours than being stranded completely.

The airline got off to a troubling start last Friday with its inaugural flight to New York, which was marred by delays, equipment breakdowns and poor service. After leaving the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, for the JFK International Airport on Friday, the flight was due to return to Guyana later in the day but US airport authorities stopped the plane from leaving after irregularities were discovered.

In the United States, Stabroek News was told that that the airline had no authorisation to land as there was no assigned terminal. This was where Dynamic’s problems began in New York.

When the airplane landed at the JFK airport, it was swarmed by several Transportation Security Administration (TSA) vehicles. The TSA is an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security and upon inquiring, a Stabroek News reporter was told that the reason for the surrounding was because although the airline was registered, it did not have authorisation to land since it was not assigned any terminal.

Gouveia explained that the situation occurred because an airline pulled out of an agreement to allow Dynamic to use its terminal while the plane was still in the air. “For some reason they went back on the agreement… I don’t know why they cancelled,” he lamented.

 Tight security

Once off the plane, passengers were then taken by bus shuttle to the airport complex for immigration and customs clearance.

Upon arriving, there was tight security. As each passenger disembarked the bus they were checked by sniffer dogs before proceeding to the immigration checkpoint.

They were then subjected to rigorous checks by customs agents, who thoroughly searched each Guyanese traveller’s luggage.

The plane’s pilot was escorted for questioning and Stabroek News was told that process lasted for over seven hours. The airline believed that the problem was sorted out and made arrangements to return to Guyana on Friday as scheduled.

However, more problems came as the ground handling company hired seem to have no experience and its laxity resulted in several violations.

“The ground handling company came the morning and they did not have one baggage tag, not one… there was also no boarding passes for persons,” a source said.

TSA gave an initial warning and the issue was resolved. However, when checks were made of the baggage, it was found that some of them had no passenger allocated to it or nametag. TSA requires a one hundred percent bag match before a plane is cleared for takeoff.

Then came the final straw when checks of passengers were made and 10 were unaccounted for. When TSA checked, the 10 passengers were found onboard the plane and no one could say how they had passed the airline’s boarding agents.

It was then that TSA informed the airline’s representatives that they would not be leaving in light of several breaches and violations.

Dynamic was warned that until all documentation was in order it would not be given the necessary clearance out of JFK.

Despite the inauspicious start for the airline, many passengers with whom this newspaper spoke said that they would travel again because they believe that the hiccups were as a result of the airline being new.

“Everyone deserves a second chance and I would fly with them again because the customer service is really great. It is just these delays but when they overcome this I think it can work out be a very excellent airline,” one passenger, who asked not to be named, said.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Resource ambassadors raise $14.5m for UG

Education resource ambassadors from various parts of the world who were recently here for a conference on improving UG have raised $14.5m for the university.

default placeholder

Northern carriageway of Carifesta Avenue closed to traffic

The northern carriageway of Carifesta Avenue has been closed to traffic. This is to facilitate ongoing improvement and lighting works to the thoroughfare.

The newly appointed Deputy Commissioner General Hema Khan (left) with Chairman of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Board Rawle Lucas. She was introduced during a press conference held yesterday.

GRA sacks heads of Customs, HR

Chairman of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Board Rawle Lucas yesterday announced a major shake-up in the management of the tax body, including the removal of the heads of its Customs and Human Resources divisions for unsatisfactory performance and the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner-General.

European Union Ambassador Jernej Videtič (left) hands over the Coastal Engineering Design Manual for Guyana Sea and River Defences to Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson. (Ministry of Public Infrastructure photo)

$2B in EU funding for sea defences

While urging the swift operationalisation of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC), European Union (EU) Representative to Guyana Ambassador Jernej Videtič yesterday handed over a $2 billion cheque to Minister of Finance Winston Jordan to aid in improving the country’s sea and river defences.

Members of the City Constabulary in their ceremonial dress march along Regent Street yesterday prior to the arrival of the President. (Photo by Keno George)

Put citizens first

With the controversial parking meter contract instigating fractures within the Mayor and City Council (M&CC), President David Granger yesterday reminded city councillors that they are accountable to the citizens who voted them into office.

Injuried: Dhaniram Tribeni

Canal Number One businessman beaten, shot in home invasion

A Canal Number One businessman is now injured after he was beaten and shot early yesterday morning when armed bandits invaded his home and escaped with a quantity cash and jewellery.

default placeholder

City councillor accused of invading Town Clerk’s privacy

A city councillor has been accused of invading the privacy of Town Clerk Royston King and his family after contacting one of King’s daughters about the controversial trip he made to Mexico with the Mayor and other council members.

default placeholder

Chainsaw operator, 16, charged over rape of 10-yr-old

A 16-year-old chainsaw operator was yesterday charged with the rape of a child under the age of 16 years old and later released into the custody of his parents.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: