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Guyanese investor in start-up Surinamese airline cleared of allegations

Last Updated on Wednesday, 6 April 2022, 7:35 by Denis Chabrol

A Guyanese man named as an investor in a start-up Surinamese airline has been cleared of cybercrime allegations, the Head of the Guyana Police Force’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Wendell Blanhum said.

Mr. Jayson Aaron had been the subject of a probe into the alleged falsification of WhatsApp messages  in a conversation that he had purportedly had with the then General Manager of the state-owned Guyana Oil Company, Trevor Bassoo.

“Legal advice was obtained and no charge was recommended against Aaron,” Mr. Blanhum told Demerara Waves Online News this week. Back on January 31, 2022, the Crime Chief had told Demerara Waves Online News that Mr. Aaron had been contacted by police and that “the investigation is still ongoing.

The company named Angel Airways, said it recently partnered with Guyanese businessman and Chief Executive Officer of Aaron Royalty, Jayson Aaron, giving him a 40 percent stake in the start-up carrier.

“Talks with Aaron Royalty began in mid-2021, after previous negotiations with other parties did not lead to a conclusive deal. Things have also been slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought the airline industry almost to a standstill,” the Head of Angel Airways, Etienne Fernandes, was quoted as saying in an article by Surinamese journalist, Ivan Cairo.

Mr. Fernandes  has said that after months of negotiations with various potential foreign partners, Mr. Aaron, is on board. It took some time to find the right partners, Fernandes said. “We had negotiations with serious parties, but there were also jokers and scammers among them,”  he added.

If all goes as expected and permission is obtained from the Surinamese authorities, Angel Airways wants to start its operations in the last quarter of 2022 and as early as October, the entrepreneur said.

Mr. Fernandes says that based on the aviation treaty between Suriname and the Netherlands, Paramaribo can authorize three companies to maintain operations between the two countries.

The Netherlands may also grant permission to three airlines. The Surinamese side currently allows national carrier Surinam Airways and Fly All Ways to maintain the aforementioned route. :Suriname therefore still has room to grant a license to one airline and we are convinced that our company and the way in which we want to operate will meet the conditions,” ; said the CEO of Angel Airways.

In the first phase, flights will be operated to Europe and further to the Far East. Two Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts will be deployed for those operations. In the second phase, operations in the Caribbean region connecting to Canada and the USA will be conducted with Boeing 737-800 aircrafts. One of the routes that Angel Airways wants to service from the Netherlands is the Netherlands-Brasilia route via Paramaribo. There is no direct flight on that route yet, Fernandes notes. Flight operations between China and Jamaica are also being studied. The aim is not to offer cheaper tickets than other carriers, but to offer a better service to passengers, Mr. Fernandes says.