GA 2000's first flight postponed

Stabroek News
June 17, 1999

Guyana Airways (GA) 2000 has hit another snag, forcing it to postpone its inaugural flight to Toronto which was scheduled for today.

Chairman of GA 2000 Board of Directors, Yesu Persaud, on Thursday last at a press conference had informed the media that the service would have started its operation with a flight to Toronto today.

However, according to a statement from Public Communications Consultants Ltd, Persaud said it was unfortunate that the flight had to be postponed because the Canadian regulatory authorities had not yet completed the regulatory process for the issue of the appropriate approvals to Nordstress, the Australian operator from which GA 2000 had chartered the airbus.

Persaud said that GA 2000 and Nordstress had every good reason to anticipate approval for the airline to conduct an air service into Canada, using the Australian aircraft, in time for the inaugural flight on June 17. He said the Canadian regulatory process had taken longer than anticipated.

The chairman said that both Nordstress and GA 2000 are concerned over the delay in the granting of the appropriate approvals. Persaud said it was an unfortunate "turn of events" and assured all customers that together with Nordstress they would be working diligently with the Canadian authorities to complete the process as soon as possible.

According to the statement, the charter company, Nordstress Australian Pty Ltd is a subsidiary of Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services, the third largest aircraft leasing company in the world. It has an inventory of 100 aircraft, holds an Australian Air Operators Certificate and has operated some seven international airlines, including Alitalia and DHL, Worldwide.

The Nordstress aircraft and crew are in Guyana and Nordstress has completed the training of the GA 2000's cabin crew and ground staff.

Meanwhile, at the same press conference last week, Persaud had disclosed that North American Airlines had filed an objection with the United States Department of Transportation to GA 2000 landing in the US.

Chief Executive Officer of GA 2000, Anthony Mekdeci, in announcing that the inaugural flight would depart Guyana for Toronto, had said that if the issue with the US Department of Transportation was resolved, GA 2000 would fly to New York on June 18. He had said the airline's lawyers in the US were working to resolve the issue.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples