Govt asks InterCaribbean Airways to explain flight delays, cancellations; Guyana’s Honorary Consul in Antigua-Barbuda calls for compensation

Last Updated on Wednesday, 2 August 2023, 18:04 by Denis Chabrol

Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Retired Lt.Col. Egbert Field.

The Turks and Caicos Islands-headquartered InterCaribbean Airways has been asked by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to explain why passengers were being inconvenienced by flight delays and cancellations, and Aviation Minister Juan Edghill on Wednesday said the carrier promised to reply this week.

In a letter dated July 25, 2023 to the Chairman of InterCaribbean Airways, Lyndon Gardiner; GCAA Director-General Retired Lt. Col. Egbert Field asked him to request an update from the carrier “on measures taken to improve the on-time performance of the airline.”

Mr Field said the GCAA was concerned that it had received “multiple complaints from passengers about significant delays experienced on InterCaribbean Airways flights.” “The Authority notes with concern that frequent delays affect the passengers travel experience and results in significant inconvenience” the GCAA chief said in the correspondence copied to Mr Edghill and Aviation Minister II Deodat Indar.

Mr Field later told Demerara Waves Online News that the GCAA would be insisting to InterCaribbean Airways that it must provide a written response to the regulatory agency’s correspondence instead of possibly issuing media statement. “They have to respond to our mail in relation to the delays, cancellation and non-compensation of passengers…I don’t know if they feel putting out a statement in the newspapers is responding to the GCAA but this is not so. When we write, we want a response because when they write we respond” he said.

Mr Gardiner did not immediately respond to an email dispatched by Demerara Waves Online News.

Asked whether government was hoping to secure compensation for the inconvenienced passengers, Mr Edghill said InterCaribbean Airways has deposited a bond should it be unable to move passengers but the fact of the matter was that the airline was still flying.

Guyana’s Honorary Consul to Guyana, Robert Reis.

Guyana’s Honorary Consul to Antigua and Barbuda, Robert Reis on Wednesday noted that airline’s passengers travelling to Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, and Guyana have been badly affected but have not been compensated.  Specifically, he referred to the woes being faced by Guyanese travelling from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and Antigua to Guyana without any compensation.

“These passengers, often traveling considerable distances with connecting flights, have found themselves significantly affected by these delays and cancellations, costing them additional expenditure and significant inconvenience with no concern being shown for their plight,” he said in a statement.

Mr Reis called on the governments of Guyana, and Antigua and Barbuda to engage InterCaribbean Airways to ensure the carrier sticks to its contractual obligations as well as reliability, empathy and professionalism. “Affected travelers report a lack of empathy and accountability, matters that must be addressed promptly,” he said.

“Recent incidents, such as the stranding of a family including small children from Montserrat at the VC Bird International Airport in Antigua and the excessive delays and flight cancellations, faced by passengers, underscore the urgency of this matter. The additional costs incurred by travelers and the seeming indifference from handling agents only compound the distress,” Mr Reis added.