EZ Jet accuses Government of going Missing in Action. Former CEO returns to assist – Nov 12th 2012
The fallout continues over the decision by US and Guyanese authorities to suspend the operations license for EZ Jet, the Guyanese owned low cost carrier. The move effectively grounded all EZ Jet operations and although the company insists that it has not shut down entirely, there is no indication of when or if EZ Jet will ever return to the friendly skies.
On Sunday, the company announced that its former Chief Executive Officer, Sonny Ramdeo, was back in charge. In a press statement, EZ Jet said, Ramdeo has taken direct charge of EZ Jet activities, with the support of his board and senior officers, who the company says, are collectively making every effort to deal with EZ Jet’s sudden suspension and its pending restart.
The company said, Ramdeo is personally communicating with the relevant authorities in Guyana, Trinidad, Canada, and United States.
While EZ Jet has been making those moves, the Government of Guyana has been moving farther away from the mess that the carrier has left behind and over the weekend, President Ramotar himself led discussions with top executives from Caribbean Airlines to see how Caribbean Airlines could assist all the affected EZ Jet passengers and how the carrier could better serve the Guyana market.
That move by the Ramotar administration has apparently angered the troubled EZ Jet executives. In the EZ Jet statement issued on Sunday, the company also said, that the Guyana Government has suddenly gone missing in action.
The company said, the Government faithfully supported EZ jet with its right hand, and, at the same time, supported Caribbean Airlines with the left hand. The company pointed to Guyana giving permission to Caribbean Airlines to operate non-stop service to Toronto and New York on the same days that EZ Jet offered that service.
EZ Jet also said when Caribbean Airlines started to take advantage of its subsidized fuel charges in Trinidad to offer low and matching fares to those offered by EZ Jet, the Guyana Government offered no help.
EZ Jet said, it is doing all that’s possible to ensure that affected passengers get their money back. The company had deposited some 40 million dollars with the Guyana Government before it started operations and that money is expected to also offset the expenses.
EZ Jet was gearing up to have a very bright Christmas with thousands of bookings already made. That Christmas expectation suddenly turned to blue last week as the company, which leased EZ its aircraft, took back possession of that aircraft and the US and Guyana moved in and halted the airline’s operations.
EZ Jet appears to be fighting wars all over. The company claims Swift Air owes it money and travel agents owe it a whole lot more. The former CEO, who is now back in charge, is facing civil action in the US in connection with an alleged embezzlement of over 5 million US dollars from a health care provider. He has denied the accusations.
The Guyana Government seems more than disappointed over its latest failure to get a low cost carrier to effectively and efficiently serve this market.
Before EZ Jet, the Government had placed its trust in Red Jet. That Caribbean carrier folded earlier this year.
EZ Jet appears confident of returning to the skies, whether or not it could pull together enough support to do that may be in the reservations area.