The US$200,000 bond deposited by Dynamic Airways is enough to cover the refund for passengers, says the airline’s former local representative, Captain Gerry Gouveia, the CEO of Roraima Airways.
According to Captain Gouveia, the assertion that the bond is not enough to cover all the claims made by the affected the passengers, is untrue.
“What they found originally is that a lot of people got refunds on their credit cards, other people who got refunds from other agencies, and they were reoccurring on this list. But based on the final list, the $200,000 will cover it quite easily, so this thing that the bond is not enough is very untrue,” Gouveia said.
This was also supported by Mitra Ramkumar, who apart from being the Chief Financial Officer of Roraima Airways, also sits on the subcommittee within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure which was established to deal with the Dynamic Airways bond issue.
According to Ramkumar, based on the current list provided, the total stands at an estimated US$195,000.
When reminded about the reports carried in the media that the bond is also being used to cover administrative costs, Ramkumar said they are looking at the most cost effective way to deal with administrative costs. Sharing an example, he said, “What they want to do is a publication in all the newspapers which will carry up admin cost, and we have agreed to concise it, to put people’s names and ticket number just to make it so we cover a lot of people on one page.”
“And will still end up having people who will not come for their claim, even aside from that, you will still have a [GUY] $1 million to play with,” Ramkumar added.
Two weeks ago, Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Lt. Col. (Ret’d) Egbert Field told Stabroek News that deliberations were ongoing to decide the way forward in securing additional funds to refund all passengers since the bond which was lodged by the airline is not enough to meet all passenger refunds.
Though he could not at the time state how much more money will be needed to cover all refunds, Field had stated that the amount did not exceed the bond by a very large margin. Important to note, he added, was the fact that the bond was being used to also cover administrative costs that came 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 had explained.
In January, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure had said that it would have begun the process to access the bond of US$200,000 which had been lodged by Dynamic International Airways in collaboration with its local handling agent, Roraima Airways Inc., when it had started operations here.
A release earlier this year from the GCAA said that the money will be used to refund passengers in Guyana who had purchased tickets to travel on the airline, provided that they had 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 was to 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 Airways formally announced that effective October 3rd, 2017, it would be discontinuing 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 had 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 unused portion of their ticket. Dynamic intends to honour all its financial commitments to passengers, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority,” said Lawlor.