* CAL given 21 days ultimatum to restore agreement
Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has been given an ultimatum of 21 days to restore an agreement it had entered with the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) with regard to passengers who purchase at the Duty Free Shop in Guyana or have its flights to Guyana discontinued.
This decision was made by management of CJIA on Thursday after the Trinidad-based airline failed to honour an agreement made at a previous meeting, which stated that airline passengers would be allowed to travel to their final destinations with their purchases from the Timehri Airport’s Duty Free Shop.
INews understands that this move comes after numerous, continuous complaints by thousands of passengers over a specific time frame who lament that their duty free items which are purchased at the CJIA in Guyana are not being taken to their final destinations.
When the items arrive in Trinidad they are left there once they have been purchased from Guyana and this has had an adverse effect on sales at duty free locations at the CJIA as well as resulted in more passengers frequently complaining about this matter.
It should be noted that the passengers who leave Guyana and in-transit in Trinidad are being told that in light of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules they will be prohibited from passing through security at the Piarco International Airport with their duty free items (alcohol/liquor) that have been purchased from Guyana.
However, those passengers who are traveling directly to Trinidad as the final destination are not being affected by this pressing issue.
In a letter to Caribbean Airlines, authorities at the CJIA have issued the warning and has granted the Airlines three weeks commencing yesterday to address this issue, and if there is failure to do so within that time frame the CJIA Corporation will terminate services with Caribbean Airlines.
The letter sent to Caribbean Airlines by the CJIA management states: “Take notice unless CAL remedies its aforesaid default and comply with the said notice of June 15, 2016, within 21 Days of this notice to remedy default, CJIAC will be at liberty to proceed to cancel the air carrier agreement under article 9.3…”
It must be reminded that Caribbean Airlines has operated in Guyana for over 50 years to date and is the oldest airline flying out of Guyana. Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson explained that the conflict stemmed from passengers being unable to exercise their duty-free concessions.
“The issue stems from duty free concessions. There has been a long-standing issue with Guyanese whereas when we travel to Trinidad, we deplane and go through the security checks in Trinidad. What is being implemented now is that when you go through, you’ve asked to take out your baggage and when you take out your baggage it will include the duty free concessionaries from Guyana. Currently, the regulations are that you cannot carry anything over ten fluid ounces,” he related.