Conviasa Airlines fiasco, a “mix up” − Gouveia

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Conviasa Airlines fiasco, a “mix up” − Gouveia

Unread post by bimjim » Tue Jun 09, 2015

http://www.guyanatimesgy.com/2015/06/09 ... 2-gouveia/

Conviasa Airlines fiasco, a “mix up” − Gouveia
June 9, 2015

In light of the recent fiasco involving Venezuelan-owned Conviasa Airlines, local representative Gerry Gouveia on Monday disclosed that the issue with the airline paying a bond of $20 million to the Government of Guyana was a “mix up”.

He explained that the airline is a scheduled carrier that operates the same way as Suriname Airways and Caribbean Airlines, while noting that neither of the two airlines paid a bond upon assumption of their operations here in Guyana. As such, he stated that the Venezuelan-owned carrier should have also been exempted from paying the bond.

Gouveia, however, admitted that after examining the situation, it was found out that the application made by Conviasa Airlines to fly the Venezuela/Guyana route was done incorrectly. This, he added, will be looked at and a decision is forthcoming on how the two parties will address the issue.

He stated that since the Government had suspected the flight, it is now up to them to decide on the way forward while noting that the suspension will affect the tourism industry and more so, the economic bridges between Guyana and Venezuela.

The captain, who has been pushing hard to develop tourism at every level, is hopeful that the matter can be resolved shortly even if it means that some form of negotiation is required. However, he confirmed that the 42 stranded Venezuelan passengers left Guyana on Sunday evening, after the intervention of Foreign Affairs Minister Gordon Greenidge.

In an invited comment on Sunday, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson explained that apart from the bond that is owed by the Venezuelan-owned airline, it had also owed the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority a sum of money for landing and administrative fees. The money, he confirmed, was paid in full to the two organisations late Saturday evening.

The Minister, however, made it clear that the decision of the Government of Guyana was not linked to the recent decree issued by the Venezuelan President, claiming Guyana’s oil-rich territorial waters. He stated that the suspension of the airline’s operations and the decree made by the Venezuelan Government happened almost simultaneously, but iterated that there was no connection.

Patterson further explained that the deadline to lodge the bond was May 31 and since it was not done, a decision was taken to suspend the airline’s operations. The bond, he disclosed, is more or less a protection cost in case of an emergency or an issue that might arise; it also takes care of the fees to renew licences.

Meanwhile passengers who were left stranded were left at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport without food, water and no place to rest. Duty officials confirmed that the passengers left on Sunday evening.

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