Gov't only refunding EZjet's Guyana passengers

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Gov't only refunding EZjet's Guyana passengers

Unread post by bimjim » Tue Dec 18, 2012 ... ngers.html

Gov't only refunding EZjet's Guyana passengers
Kwesi Isles
Monday, 17 December 2012

Transport Minister Robeson Benn says the government will only be refunding EZjet passengers who purchased tickets in Guyana.

He made the announcement in response to a question in the National Assembly on Monday saying that the overseas operations would have to deal with the other passengers.

However, EZjet’s New York office has been closed after the entire staff walked off the job while its Trinidad operation is also in limbo with the resignation of the manager. Acting CEO Rosalinda Rasul last week told reporters that the Canadian operation structure was still in place but was not responding.

Benn said the government has a US$200,000 bond that the now-suspended airline had to lodge and that money will be used for the refunds to most of those passengers. He added that they have learnt that EZjet has been able to secure some funds which will go towards refunding some passengers.

The minister said his ministry is currently compiling the listings given to it by the airline. He later explained to Demeratra Waves Online News that passengers have one month to submit claims and they are looking to complete the payouts by the end of March. January 14 is the deadline for those submissions.

Benn was also asked in the House if the government would be paying the EZjet staff but he responded that that was a private matter.

Another question was whether the airline owed the government with Benn saying that some GUY$2.6M was owed to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and GUY$3.1M to the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority.

EZjet Airline’s licences have been suspended in the US and in Georgetown following financial difficulties it encountered with its founder and CEO Sonny Ramdeo now in custody in the US in connection with a US$20M embezzlement charge.

The Transport Minister told the House that some six to nine months of investigation was done on EZjet prior to the granting of a licence while its business plan and the fact that the US and Canadian authorities had also approved licences for the airline.

According to Benn, at this time they are not considering anything beyond an administrative probe.

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