Local airline start-up Guyana Airways Corporation Inc yesterday announced that it is aiming to launch its inaugural flight within the next 90 days.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Colin Abrams made the announcement during a press briefing yesterday, just one day after the company won the legal right to use the name Guyana Airways Corporation.
The High Court on Thursday cleared the way for the airline to begin operations as it ordered the re-registration of its name.
By an order dated July 10th this year, the Deeds and Commercial Registries Authority had de-registered the company’s name, arguing that it was identical to that of the former state-owned Guyana Airways.
Through its lawyers, Senior Counsel Bernard De Santos and attorney Pamela De Santos, the company challenged the decision. It sought an order, which was granted by Justice Fidela Corbin-Lincoln on Thursday, quashing the decision to de-register its name.
“We at Guyana Airways Corporation Inc. are extremely ecstatic with the result that we received [Thursday] from the High Court and we are looking forward to moving on with our project so we can get our fellow Guyanese at work,” the CEO said yesterday.
Addressing the company’s next steps and specifically those related to certification from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Abrams said a letter will be written to the body to reestablish the Air Operators Certification (AOC) application process.
This, he said, “shouldn’t take long,” but he added that considering that the company has been engaged in a court battle for the past five months, its directors will have to regroup before they finalise any other decisions on the way forward.
Commenting on the effect of the court battle, Abrams said the company was “quite a bit affected financially” as it was burning through capital while awaiting the end of the proceedings.
Notwithstanding, the CEO said the company is looking to have its inaugural flight within 90 days. He noted that it is still tasked with training flight attendants and pilots, and putting together operations and other manuals, all of which were suspended as a result of the legal issues.
As it relates to flight destinations, Abrams said once the airline becomes operational, it will be offering direct flights to Havana, Cuba, using two Boeing 737s, which will be leased. He added that the company plans to then move to offer flights to Trinidad, Barbados and the US, with the last being its ultimate goal.
In the area of staffing, Abrams explained that the company has already hired a total of 150 persons and it would have received an additional 150 applications following a job fair it hosted in Linden.
Abrams also used the occasion to declare that there is not a lot in Guyana that encourages persons to invest.
“GO-Invest [the Guyana Office for Investment] goes out to the diaspora of North America and maybe Great Britain or so and they encourage Guyanese to come back and invest but when you do come back and invest, you get the realisation that [you] have to pay $1 million in taxes on furniture. There is no provision for that. It’s very few and far between for new businesses coming from overseas to start operations in Guyana,” he added.
Abrams previously told this newspaper that the company stood to lose millions as the start of its operations had been delayed following the de-registration of the name.
In July, the company had been informed that the name Guyana Airways Corporation Inc. was “identical” to that of the former state-owned airline, which was later privatised and then rebranded as the now defunct Guyana Airways 2000.
The CEO had said that the company had been registered in Guyana and the United States since 2016 and no one had come forward to make objections to any aspect of the company’s registration.
Prior to the de-registration, he added, the company had been in a state of readiness to begin operations.