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CAL protests claims of ‘milking’ Guyana to make up for T&T losses

first_imgCaribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) has refuted claims that it has been “milking” Guyana to make up for losses on flights on the domestic air bridge. This comes in light of a study done by the Competition and Consumer Affairs Division which suggested that a State-sponsored airline be commissioned to end the monopoly Caribbean Airlines has over the Georgetown to JFK route.However, in a response to the article on Wednesday, CAL described the article as “inaccurate”, adding that it has done major damage to the airline and Guyanese citizens who frequently fly with them.CAL said it has “loyally served” Guyana “for many decades”, even when competitors pulled out when times got hard.“Caribbean Airlines and its predecessor BWIA International Airways have faithfully served Guyana since 1947. While other providers have come and gone, Caribbean Airlines has maintained its commitment to Guyana regardless of whether times are good or bad,” the Company stated.Some of the competitors that pulled out of the Guyana market are Dynamic Airways after a shaky start in 2014 suspended its operations for four months. It returned and started to offer as many as five flights per week and that frequency climbed in the peak seasons. In July 2017, Dynamic Airways announced that it had filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition with the United States which was likely the result of an unrelated lawsuit.Fly Jamaica started operations in Guyana in 2013. In November 2018, the airline’s fortunes made a sudden change following the emergency landing and crash of its 757 aircraft at Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). Mechanical problems forced the pilots to head back to Guyana and make the emergency landing. Several passengers were injured during the emergency landing. The airline has exited the market following this incident.Addressing the claims of imbalanced ticket pricing, CAL said the statistics quoted in the article bear no relation to the airline’s data or the truths.Further, it said it carefully manages ticket prices in the Guyana market to remain competitive and appealing to its customers.“Caribbean Airlines has and continues to carefully manage ticket prices for the Guyana market. The airline’s pricing policies are done in line with its operational costs and not with a view to exploiting any given market, so the claim of artificially high prices, based on a monopoly is respectfully wrong,” CAL added.The airline said nothing could be further from the truth as after returning to a profit-making business, it is currently looking to reinvest with a new fleet, new routes, and improved services and not subsidising existing routes, which will also benefit Guyana.“This includes for Guyana, where we launched the new service to Havana, Cuba, added additional flights on existing routes including New York, and have further expansions planned over the next few months and years”.“Guyana is the only market outside of Trinidad and Tobago which offers “Caribbean Layaway” which allows customers to use a payment plan to purchase tickets”.CAL warned against using skewed figures and anticipated a major change that would allow the airline to decrease its ticket prices.“May we suggest that in the future, rather than using selective and inaccurate sensationalism, you look, instead, at the wider angle of a major success story that brings enormous benefits to the Guyanese economy, Guyanese employment and connectivity for Guyana across the Caribbean and beyond,” CAL remarked.CAL said pricing can be adjusted but these changes can only be made by officials in Guyana. The airline ended by promising to continue to serve Guyana and the region as a whole.Guyana tourism statistical digest for 2016 indicated that for the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 the number of visitors to Guyana was 200,060; 205,824; 206,819 and 235, 312 respectively.last_img read more