Guyanese continue to complain about high airfare, still haven’t learnt their lesson about being cheap
A flight from Trinidad to Caracas or a flight to Suriname cost the same or more than a flight from Trinidad to Guyana, but for some strange reason Guyanese think they are special and should pay less.
Caribbean Airlines should come out and explain that the Trinidad government subsidize the Trinidad to JFK leg.
Guyana government should come out and explain why a flight from Ogle to Mabaruma cost as much as a flight from Guyana to Trinidad.
Guyanese should stop being complainers and continue to support EzJet because that is the kind of service they want to pay for.
The EZjet saga
NOVEMBER 15, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER EDITORIAL
The grounding of EZjet has raised more questions than answers. One major question is whether the deposit demanded by the Guyana government is enough to compensate passengers affected by any situation that may force the airline to be grounded.
The deposit demanded by the Guyana Government is US$200,000, a sum that is meaningless when one considers that airlines sell tickets in advance of flights. Sometimes, as in the case of EZjet, tickets are sold months in advance. This is because airlines announce cheaper rates. They all claim that the further ahead one buys a ticket the cheaper is that ticket.
More recently, EZjet announced a promotion that appeared to be more stupid than sound. It was selling tickets for less than US$1,000 that would allow the passenger repeated travel to destinations in the United States, Trinidad and Tobago and Canada. Given Guyana’s population, assuming that everyone would have travelled then many people might have been stranded.
Each flight would have taken out two hundred people. So if two thousand people had jumped at the offer the airline would have had to make ten flights to move them to a destination. It would then have had to make ten flights to return them. Each would have flown once but many would not have been able to secure a seat on future flights to capitalize on the virtually free travel.
This was a smart promotion since it would have guaranteed full flights in and out of Guyana for the month. In reality there would have been no free travel.
Assuming that the airline had sold two tickets on the promotion then with the collapse the deposit would not have been enough to cover the cost of refund. A mere two hundred passengers would have been refunded. And this is the plight of many who recently booked to travel on EZjet.
Money is a scarce commodity and people who would have forked out their money would have descended on the ticket offices for their refund. And this is what is happening now. However, the airline seems not to have money to effect the refund. Needless to say, this is angering those affected by the collapse.
Those who are most angered are those who were sold tickets by the airline even after the airline had its licence suspended by the United States Department of Transportation and the Guyana Government. Minister of Works, Robeson Benn, when he announced the Guyana position, said that this step was intended to ensure that no more tickets were sold. This was definitely not the case.
The Minister also said that his government has long been seeking low cost carriers to operate out of Guyana. However, every attempt has failed; none of those that came as low cost carriers survived for longer than a year.
The question is whether Guyana does adequate feasibility study.
We know that operating out of New York or any North American port would entail a due diligence by the United States Department of Transportation. Minister Benn said that Guyana simply accepted the findings of the US authorities.
What we saw was that all the airlines that came simply did not have a large reservoir of funds hence they were operating on a shoe string. Any ripple would lead to their collapse and there have always been ripples sparked by their indebtedness to the leasing carrier.
The big question, then, is whether there could ever be a low cost carrier operating between Georgetown and North America.
We do know that the money charged by the other operators is excessively high. Indeed, the government has had to call in these carriers to discuss the fares and from time to time and actually got lower fares but such drop has been temporary.
In one case, Guyanese travelling through Trinidad to New York found that half of the ticket cost was for the leg to Trinidad.
This could not be the case; Guyanese are fleeced but this will always be the case until there is a national airline.