|EZjet not losing money|
|Written by Priya Nauth|
|Friday, 09 March 2012 23:12|
RHEDC is promoting EZJET on Liberty Ave this Sunday
…airline officials denies Kaieteur News reports
EZjet, is a United States public charterer who has contracted Dynamic Airways, a US carrier, to provide non-stop flights between New York and Guyana and started operations in mid-December.
The Kaieteur News last Sunday published an article raising questions about the airline, including the source of financing for the US-based charter company.
Joining its CEO were Paul Wilmot, New York Operations Manager; Robert DuBois, Director of Passenger Sales; Richard Lee, Chief Operations Officer; Rick McGough, Consultant; and Rosalinda Rasul, EZjet’s Guyana Operations Manager.
Ramdeo made it clear that, “First and foremost, EZjet air services has no affiliation whatsoever with any political party.”
He explained that EZjet applied for its operating licence in Georgetown, stood its place in the line, went through the appropriate authorities, and was granted the licence based on the economic study that was done.
“I brought my team down here because of the bad press that we have gotten, to refute the allegations that have been made,” Ramdeo said, noting that he has a great team working with him; they have years of experience in the airline industry.
He recalled that EZjet’s inaugural flight was on December 16, 2011, with 218 passengers coming from New York, explaining, “Our primary focus was the uplift of passengers out of New York and not Georgetown; it took so long for us to work through the process along with the Civil Aviation Authority, as well as the Ministry of Transport to obtain that licence.”
Referring to questions about his financial capability, Ramdeo said that he is the sole investor and over the years, he has accumulated assets, including investment funds, and stocks.
He said only about US1.5M of investment capital was put into the operation to cover security deposits, the appropriate bonds and securing the aircraft, noting that the flights have been paying for themselves.
“The difference with what we are doing versus what other competitors are doing, is that they are scheduled airlines; we are not a scheduled airline even though we are operating on a regular schedule,” he noted.
He explained that when tickets are sold, passenger funds are placed in a special account until those passengers are flown, and once the manifest is submitted to its US bank then those funds are released to them.
“Our programme right now is being operated as charter, because there was not a significant amount of capital to invest in an entire airline to start up. The charter programme is now paying for itself and paying for our operations as we continue to build or rebuild a national carrier for Guyana,” he said.
“…so there is not an excessive amount of capital that is needed to perform a programme like this,” the CEO pointed out.
He said the company is doing better than they expected, revealing that the charter transported over 2,300 passengers in December; 4,300 in January, and 7,500 in February.
Alluding to the mortgage on his home, he said, “…my mortgage has no bearing whatsoever on opportunities that I see that are available out there. You know, certainly if you have a home mortgage and you truly believe in a business that you can make work, that you have done enough homework and research that you can mitigate those risks that are out there – it is a worthwhile investment.”
Answering Kaieteur News operatives he said, “I am not sure where you got your facts and figures from, but we have not been operating at a loss as you have represented in your newspaper articles.”
Ramdeo also denied that former President Bharrat Jagdeo, and Queens Atlantic Inc.Chief Executive Officer, Ranjisingh ‘Bobby’ Ramroop, have links to EZjet.
Ramdeo also disclosed that EZjet will be recruiting 24 local flight attendants “to continue to support our operation and keep our cost lower.”