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Hundreds of stranded Cubans begin leaving Guyana; EasySky airline’s resumption on hold pending review

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 April 2017, 11:00 by Denis Chabrol

Several stranded Cuban passengers had no other option but to sleep at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport after the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority blocked the Honduras-based EasySky airline from flying to Guyana due to safety concerns.

Hundreds of Cuban passengers, who were stranded in Guyana for several days now, on Tuesday began leaving the country after the Honduras-based Easy Sky airline was granted temporary permission to fly here, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Retired Col. Egbert Field said.

“They began to correct some of their safety deficiencies and these are the short-term corrections I had a question on so we allowed the plane to come in last night; not to bring in passengers but to evacuate the passengers who are here,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

The flight was due to leave the Cheddi Jagan International Airport at 10:30 AM Tuesday with 75 passengers and cargo before returning 10 hours later to fly out more persons. In all, 433 passengers had been stranded in Guyana since last week.

Field said EasySky would not be allowed to resume flights to Guyana until a complete review of its application and approval process is completed, but he declined to go into details. “They don’t have permission to bring in more passengers until we have carried out a complete surveillance on them,” the GCAA official said. “The authority will be conducting a complete review of their approval process and also of their current operation,” he said.

The Director General said the process could take a couple of weeks .

Asked whether EasySky was overloading the planes, he said “from observations and inspections from some of my inspectors, the weighing of the aircraft was in question. I don’t want to say they were but the weighing was in question.”

Hundreds of Cubans fly to Guyana weekly to shop large quantities of clothing, electronic and other items.

EasySky, which is represented locally by Roraima Group of Companies, began flying to Guyana late last year.

Roraima also represents the United States-based Dynamic Airlines which has recently been fined by the US Department of Transportation for cancelling flights without adequate notice and leaving passengers stranded.

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April 2017