Latest update March 24th, 2023 12:59 AM
Jun 17, 2016 News
… over duty free liquor quarrel
The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) has threatened to cancel the operating licence of Trinidad-owned Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL), amidst growing complaints over duty free items being purchased in Guyana, but not being allowed through the Twin-Island Republic.
CAL was written to this week by the airport corporation, with the Board of Directors now handling the issue, says Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson. Patterson oversees the portfolio for air transportation in the country.
The matter, which has been simmering for a while now, spilled over recently when thousands of Guyanese from the diaspora returned home for the Jubilee celebrations.
Many of them were too happy to buy the El Dorado and XM rums at the CJIA duty free shops.
However, the operators have been complaining of a drop in business, especially for CAL passengers in-transiting in Trinidad and heading to New York.
Passengers from Guyana have been complaining over time that they are forced to deplane in Trinidad and go through security checks before continuing their journey.
They said that Trinidad authorities have been refusing them their liquor, claiming that it was over the quota, and in any case had not subjected to security checks.
Yesterday, Minister Patterson said that Government and CJIA have been engaging CAL on the issue for a while, but the situation has become worse, with growing complaints from passengers being noted.
“We have had complaints of angry passengers who broke the liquor bottles in Trinidad rather than to give it up. We have been requesting CAL to put some system in place where they either place the duty free items in the cargo or hold it for passengers until they reach their destination in North America.”
“It so happens, also, that the Guyana/New York route is the most lucrative one for CAL. I understand that CJIA this week, after talks back and forth with the airline, have written them, and given them three weeks to fix the problem or a decision can be taken to review the landing rights permit.”
Trinidad airport authorities have been citing US air traffic regulations in their refusal of the duty free liquor.
The Minister noted that Guyanese have been suffering for some time now.
“This is an additional burden for Guyanese who are travelling with CAL. We are not asking for anything much, except for CAL to use an employee or two to fix this issue.”
Guyanese have been complaining about hassle at the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad.
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Lies, Lies, Lies!!!
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I was flying from Toronto to Grenada via Caribbean Airline with a 4 hour stop in Trinidad where I changed to another Caribbean plane to fly to Grenada. My friend told me not to buy duty free in Toronto because I would not be able to take it with me to Grenada. So I waited and bought my duty free in Trinidad. I agree with Guyana to cancel their license. I will not be travelling with them in the future but taking an Air Canada direct flight to Grenada….regardless of the price.
Caribbean airlines have no respect for Guyanese. They treat you like sardines in a can of oil. Unless the gov’t lay down the law on them this will be the norm.
They took away my beer I had bought in Toronto when I had to go through security in POS. CAL doesn’t care when you complain to them. Why the heck do you have to deplane in TT? Passengers going to GEO should not have to deplane period.
More important there should be direct flights from NYC and Toronto… What a pain to stop in T&T.
This is a good move by the gov’t. CAL can comply or go.
TT authorities have no respect for Guyanese and Jamaicans.
While it may be true,the are abiding by
international civil aviation regulations, as
Mr Patterson noted,could just hire someone to inspect these bottles.
Truth be told ,it seems ,the only country
benefiting from Caricom free trade arrangements, is TT still they continue to disrespect ,those markets who buy most of their goods.
I think the oil has gone to their heads.