The Ministry of Public Infrastructure is working to put mechanisms in place to refund persons who had booked flights with Dynamic Airways ahead of them halting their operations in Guyana two months ago.
Director General of the GCAA, Ret’d Captain Egbert Field told Stabroek News yesterday that though the Authority had written to the airline days after the company announced their departure from Guyana regarding their finances, they are yet to receive a response from the company.
A decision was then made to access the US$200,000 bond which the airline had signed with the Ministry in order to refund the passengers.
“Since they halted operations here two months ago we have not heard from Dynamic; passengers are also experiencing difficulty getting on to them. As far as I am aware, the authority is now working with the Ministry to come up with mechanisms that would allow us to utilize the bond we have with Dynamic,” Field said.
However, the Director explained that the processing of the documents to refund customers is often times tedious and difficult since all documents would have to first be verified before any payments can be made.
Back in October Dynamic’s Chief Executive Officer Ray Lawlor had confirmed that the company would be pulling out of the Guyanese market and would no longer be offering flights from Guyana to New York, which it had provided since 2014. Lawlor had also offered the assurance that customers who had purchased tickets for any date beyond October 3 would be reimbursed; he did not give a time frame for when customers could expect their refunds.
In light of this, Saheed Sulaman, who was acting head of GCAA at the time had explained to Stabroek News that the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) had written the company for clarification on their plans and finances.
“They sent us a missive advising us and reassuring us that all passengers who were scheduled to use their services after October 3 would be issued a refund. Since receiving their missive we have communicated back to them that we need further clarification,” Sulaman had said.
While there are no regulations stipulating a time frame for the airline to refund passengers, in the event of the company taking too long, the Ministry has an option to tap into the bond and repay the customers.
In July this year, Dynamic filed for bankruptcy and a statement had explained that a voluntary Chapter 11 had been filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of North Carolina, Greensboro Division. The decision to file for bankruptcy followed litigation resulting from Hajj flights Dynamic Airways had operated in 2014 for Air India, as well as, the entry of a judgment in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina affirming an arbitration award against Dynamic, issued by the Canadian Arbitration Association in April 2017.
Subsequently, Dynamic was found to be in breach of the contract for failing to pay commissions to BKP Enterprises in connection with the Hajj flights and was fined US$120,000 by the United States Department of Transportation for failure to promptly notify passengers of flight cancellations, which violated a cease and desist provision which had been made in March, 2016.