EZjet refunds only for tickets purchased in Guyana: Minister

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EZjet refunds only for tickets purchased in Guyana: Minister

Unread post by bimjim » Tue Dec 18, 2012

http://guyanachronicleonline.com/site/i ... y&Itemid=8

EZjet refunds only for tickets purchased in Guyana – Minister Benn
- says airline also owes CJIA $2.6M and GCAA $3.2M
Chriseana Ramrekha
Monday, 17 December 2012

THE government will only be refunding affected EZjet passengers who purchased tickets in Guyana, according to Minister of Transport and Hydraulics Mr. Robeson Benn.

He also disclosed that the grounded airline, EZjet, owes a total of $2.6M to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and $3,185,742 to the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

Minister Benn made the disclosures in the National Assembly yesterday, in response to questions asked by Opposition parliamentarians, including AFC’s Khemraj Ramjattan who questioned how the affected passengers will be refunded, and APNU’s Volda Lawrence who asked whether the Guyana Government will pay EZjet staff in Georgetown from the bond.

Ramjattan questioned the minister about what the government is doing to assist those persons who have been unable to recover refunds from EZjet.

In response, the minister revealed that a bond of US$200,000 is in place, and passengers will be refunded out of that money.

Minister Benn said that the ministry is currently compiling listings based on information provided by EZjet with regards to those passengers who they were unable to provide with refunds.

He added that while he has since learnt that EZjet (Guyana) may have received some money and is making some payments in the meantime, it is anticipated, based on figures that they have, that much of the refunds would be made from the bond money.

When asked by Mr. Ramjattan if the list of persons to be refunded includes Guyanese and other persons who would have purchased tickets in the United States (US) and Canada, the minister said that the bond only covers tickets that were bought in Guyana and were not utilized.

He added that persons who are under the US or Canadian jurisdiction will be refunded through their systems in the US and Canada.

In addition, when asked whether the government will make payments to EZjet employees here in Guyana, who the company owes, Minister Benn said that is a private corporate matter which doesn’t relate to the bond.

Mr. Ramjattan asked the minister what background checks the government conducted before granting permission for EZjet to operate their service from Guyana to North America.

In response, the minister said that the background checks revolved around business plans which were submitted by EZjet, and some 6-9 months of investigations were conducted.

He added that they also related to two permissions - permission granted to EZjet by the US government through its department of transportation and also by the Canadian government with respect to its operations.

EZjet Airline’s licences were suspended in the US and Guyana two months ago following financial difficulties encountered with its founder and CEO Sonny Ramdeo who is now in custody in the United States in connection with a US$20M embezzlement charge.

When asked by Mr. Ramjattan whether the government is proposing any investigation into the operations of the grounded airline and the fact that the principal, Sonny Ramdeo, is now in prison, the minister related that the GCAA will look into this matter and report to the ministry and the government.

“We have not settled on any question of any extensive investigation beyond the administrative approaches we’re taking at the present time,” Benn declared.

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