Rubis’ Aviation Sales Manager, K. Hutson Inniss declined to explain his company’s decision that was communicated to Air Services Limited (ASL) on Monday. “We have discovered that our Into Plane provider CAMS received jet fuel from another supplier and this product was comingled with Rubis’ product in the storage tanks at OGL. We are suspending supply at OGL (Ogle) with immediate effect until we are able to verify the integrity of the commingled fuel,” said Hutson.
Hutson Inniss, who is based in Barbados, told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) that he would be holding discussions with the relevant officials on Tuesday. In his correspondence, he said Rubis’ Operations would have to determine the procedures that would have to be followed before supply at Ogle could resume.
A CAMS official said the state-owned GuyOil was selling aviation fuels at competitive rates and it was yet to be seen how that move would affect the relationship between Rubis and CAMS.
Spokesman for CAMS, Kit Nascimento repeatedly refused to comment on the aspect of “comingling”, saying that was an accusation made by Rubis to ASL although it was pointed out that such a claim would cast a shadow over the fuel supplier at Ogle. “As far as CAMS’ fuel is concerned, we stand by its integrity,” he said, adding that “CAMS’ fuel operation is 100 percent above board.”
Rubis has since offered ASL to buy fuel from its operations at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and CAMS has since offered to sell fuel to that domestic carrier with which it has had a thorny relationship.
The airline said it has enough fuel to last it throughout Tuesday and early Wednesday morning. In an effort to avoid disruption of its schedules, the airline plans to ration the available fuel.
ASL said it would be “totally uneconomical” to fly its 21 planes and two helicopters to CJIA for refuelling because Ogle Airport Inc (OAI) would not allow its tanker to take fuel to Ogle. The airline’s General Manager, Annette Arjoon-Martins virtually refused CAMS offer, saying that it has bad experiences with that supplier in the past. “Air Services would be reluctant to re-engage with CAMS. In the past their prices were exorbitant, were continuously rising, and they were never open to negotiation despite collective lobbying by ASL Wings Aviation and Roraima Airways at that time,” she said.
Arjoon-Martins used the opportunity to publicly lobby for ASL to be granted permission by OAI to begin using its US$1 million state-of-the-art fuel farm to raise the standards and break the monopoly. She accused OAI of coming up with new requirements before the farm, with a capacity of 60,000 imperial gallons, could become operational.
ASL reiterated that it was at the mercy of CAMS, the monopoly supplier, which shares top officials with OAI and Trans Guyana Airlines. The General Manager recommended the immediate establishment of an Aviation Review Panel and a Commission of Inquiry to remove the fuel monopoly. She said her airline was also considering taking the matter to the National Competitiveness Commission.