Deliberations are ongoing to decide the way forward in securing additional funds to refund all passengers of the now defunct Dynamic Airways following the recent disclosure that the US$200,000 bond that was lodged by the airline is not enough to meet all passenger refunds.
Director-General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Lt. Col. (Ret’d) Egbert Field yesterday confirmed to Sunday Stabroek that the bond will not be enough to cover all expenses and that deliberations are ongoing at the level of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to decide the way forward to secure the additional funding that would be needed.
Though he could not at the time state how much more money will be needed to cover all refunds, Field said the amount does not exceed the bond by a very large margin. “We will be pressing on with the reimbursement; so far the monies needed exceed the bond amount and the ministry is looking at other ways to meet the payment…When the payment begins, we expect to see more claims being made and we are taking all of that into consideration. What the ministry does not want to see is passengers being paid partial sums, we want each passenger to be fully compensated,” the Director-General said.
Important to note, he added, is the fact that the bond is being used to also cover administrative costs that come with the refund process. “We are trying to keep administrative costs at a minimum for this, but the bond at present is being used to cover administrative costs as well,” he explained.
Field also said that efforts will be made to recover the funds used to make up the difference. “Eventually we would have to write to Dynamic indicating that the money was not enough and we hope to recover whatever sum that would have to be expended as a direct result of such. However, we cannot wait on all that to take place to refund the passengers. I have confidence that the ministry will be able to secure funding and that all the passengers will be refunded,” he said.
In January, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure disclosed that it would begin the process to access a bond for the sum of US$200,000 which was lodged by Dynamic International Airways in collaboration with its local handling agent, Roraima Airways Inc., when it began operations here.
A release from the GCAA said that the money would be used to refund passengers in Guyana who purchased tickets to travel on the airline, provided that they have not been able to use the whole or part of same to travel.
The release said that Roraima Airways Inc. had submitted a list of 609 passengers, who are eligible for the refund, to the ministry. The ministry will publish the names of the eligible passengers in the local press in order for them to uplift their refunds.
In October last year, Dynamic International Air-ways formally announced that effective October 3rd, 2017, it had discontinued its regular service between New York and Guyana.
It said this had become necessary as it continued to reorganise its Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) case. Ray Lawlor, Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement that the company regretted the development and wanted to thank customers for their support over the last four years that it served the Guyanese market. “We are aware of the tremendous inconvenience this will cause to our customers who have loyally supported us over the years, for that we do apologize. We ask for your understanding with this situation and want to assure all passengers who were scheduled to use our services after October 3, they will be issued a refund on the un-used portion of their ticket. Dynamic intends to honor all its financial commitments to passengers, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority,” said Lawlor.