Apr 12, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – In light of concerns being raised about the government recently giving Suriname-based “Fly All Ways” approval to re-enter Guyana’s airspace, Director-General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), (ret’d) Colonel Egbert Field has assured that the airline’s application was properly vetted.
Last month, Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill had announced that the airline, has been approved to operate flights between Paramaribo, Georgetown and Antigua; Paramaribo, Georgetown and Barbados; and Paramaribo Georgetown and Curacao.
Fly All Ways first operated flights in Guyana in 2016. However, its presence here was short-lived, as it discontinued operations in 2017, claiming that it was not receiving customer support.
This publication recently reported the airline’s return, and in that report, it was noted that its track record exhumes deep solicitude. The main concerns were that the owner, Dilip Sarjoe, was involved in several scandals and its sister company, Blue Wing was also blacklisted by the European Union (EU).
A 2015 article carried by this newspaper highlighted that Sarjoe was promised lucrative concessions to make Guyana one of its “hubs”, according to people familiar with the development. Further to that, a Curacao Chronicle report revealed that sources also said that the development and the concessions granted were shrouded in secrecy and lacked transparency. It was said that to avoid the baggage of the sister company, which was blacklisted by the EU, Fly All Ways was registered as a separate entity.
Blue Wing was also said to have many accidents and had been consistently blacklisted by the EU which eventually led to it being completely banned from the EU’s skies in July 2010.
The Vice President of the European Commission with responsibility for Transport, Siim Kallas, had made a stern statement on the company’s operations, saying, “We cannot afford to compromise on air safety. Where we have evidence that air carriers are not performing safe operations or where regulators fail in their obligation to enforce safety standards, we must act to guarantee safe skies for our citizens when they travel.”
Nevertheless, Field has asserted that when an airline is being vetted, it is the airline directly applying that concerns are focused on. During the vetting, he said that key areas which were examined, include but are not limited to the airline’s finances, the aircraft and personnel/ employees. He added that the GCAA is responsible for thoroughly vetting all airlines that are applying to operate in Guyana and once the vetting exercise proves to be satisfactory, the GCAA makes the recommendation to the government, which later takes the prerogative of approving said airline.
In the case of Fly All Ways, he said that was done, hence they have now been approved to once again operate in Guyana.
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