Eastern Airlines, formerly branded as Dynamic Airways, denied GEO-NYC license

Government rejects application of Eastern Airlines …says the re-branded Dynamic Airways still owes GRA, CJIA …some passengers still to be refunded

The decision, announced by Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson is directly related to the financial challenges of the airlines’ former brand, Dynamic Airways which has now been re-branded Eastern Airlines.

However, Guyanese travellers are familiar with Dynamic Airways and its troubles. In July 2017, following several instances when passengers were stranded at the CJIA and the John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, the carrier announced that it had filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition with the United States Bankruptcy Court. Hundreds of Guyanese passengers who had made bookings to fly on the troubled airline are still to receive the payments.   

According to Minister Patterson, Eastern Airlines made an application and after deliberations, Cabinet has said that maybe the time is right for them to operate somewhere else for a little while before we actually grant them a renewed license,” Patterson told the Guyana Chronicle. “Basically, we’re saying that we’re not comfortable immediately after them having filed for bankruptcy to start back immediately after.”

Patterson explained that there were two main issues which helped to guide Cabinet’s decision. These arose within letters of concern written by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

“We did a public request for anybody who had any issues with them restarting and CJIA and GRA had written saying that the old airline owed them money. What we discovered is that this is a newly-registered company and that this newly registered company is saying that it is the old company that owes. and not the new company that is now applying. GRA is saying that they owe them quite a lot of money and they had to put down a bond and things like that,” the minister said.

In the meantime, Cabinet has asked the GCAA to monitor the modus operandi of Eastern Airlines while Patterson stated that there is a future possibility the application can revisit Cabinet for approval. Had the airlines’ license been granted locally, it would have provided service for a three-year period. Previously, Eastern Airlines, which was headquartered in Miami, operated a charter service between Guyana and New York through an arrangement with Travel Span and One Guyana. However, Eastern Airlines folded in 2017 and was bought over by Swift Air. Swift Air became a 100 per cent owner at Dynamic Airways after it exited bankruptcy earlier this year. As a result, Dynamic Airways is able to use the ‘Eastern’ brand.

Source: Guyana Chronicle 16 May 2019.

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