By Ewalt “Waltie” Ainsworth

During the Christmas holidays, a Sunday at that too, saw the launch of the store front E-Z-JET commercial passenger airline from New York to GT but Guyanese are not biting.   The double happiness promise of cheap fares and great customer service seems to have gone the way of so many other great promises made and never kept. Reports of technical problems, late departures, limited local offices and in-sufficient food have surfaced already.

A member of the Coffee Street ensemble who was on a recent flight narrated the in-agility of the flight crew and personal friends of the owners, taking charge running between kitchenette and cabin serving, cleaning up and awkwardly trying to keep things cool.  This type of behavior may be cool on the Mahaicony bus but for an airline, no way Jose.

There is a lot of background noise too about the lax luggage policy.  Each passenger is allowed two 65-pound pieces of luggage plus a carry on piece of approximately 22lbs.  Another; piece can be added for an additional US 50.00 from either side.  Baggage handlers are resisting this promotion and so bags are being left behind.  To separate passengers from their baggage is a crime in the GT flying book.  DELTA and CARIBBEAN AIRLINES are only allowing one fifty pound piece of luggage.  A second piece costs approximately US60.00.  E-Z JET fares hover around US500.00 and they give full service menus and complimentary drinks “on request only.”  Double happiness.

Patriotic types have seen flagship GUY-AMERICA come and go leaving hundreds of passengers stranded in Guyana and are taking this one easy like Sunday morning with a pinch of salt of course.  Easy lessons good fuh dunce.

There have even been published reports of E-Z JET passengers exiting at the Timehri end because of delayed service and demanding a refund of fares.  In another case too, only 17 or so passengers were coming back out and when the plane did the run-way thing, the pilot hurriedly called on passengers to sit closest to him so that the plane can lift without a struggle.

A personal friend and Buddy who travelled on the inaugural E-Z JET flight, travelled first class.  One hour into the flight, he asked for his meal.  He ordered a half baked chicken.  “Countryman, it was half baked; you hear what a tell you.”  Another person on another flight another day, said she ordered a lobster and never got it.  The excuse was they had run out of same.  Her suspicion was the airline staff normally would help themselves to the dishes and garnishes in the absence of descent wages and accommodations.

Almost every year over the last decade, an airline has gone south.  Guyana Airways in its entire history, always made a profit unlike its sister regional carriers like BWIA, JAMAICA AIRLINES and SURINAME AIRLINES.  But the PPP always found it expedient to dissolve any project, plank or program that was initiated by their predecessors.

The Demerara Bridge for example, needs urgent repair but they are not reinvesting in this project.  Linden highway too, needs repaving but they are looking the other way.  Guyana Airways used to bring food from hinterland communities: Lethem beef, Kato potatoes, Kamarang lentils, grapefruit and tomatoes; North West edible oil and provisions.  These services and facilities are extinct.  National service also ran a boat JAIMITO that took care of the folks in the Berbice River and North West District.  Those services have been rendered non-existent.

Guyana Transport Services has gone the way of Guy-America or Guyana Airways -All defunct.  Store front airlines and maxi-taxis galore, as part of a much broader money laundering and cover ups for fraud committed on the masses.

Governments are not benevolent organizations but neither should they be pedestrian…just stand and watch as the broken populace scrape with their fingernails, digging their own graves.  The PPP government feels better and happy to offer sloppy trans-p rather than put people to work making their own boats, ocean going vessels, airstrips, schools and health centers.  The world news this week hinted that the Chinese constructed a 30-story hotel in 15 days.  They also built an ocean going vessel in the same time.  My deep suspicion is we may have one of them.  Two new vessels from China arrived and will be thrown into service in Essequibo.  It’s about time.    The next project will be a floppy airport, Chinese style.  The proposed name is   DOUBLE HAPPINESS.  The people will be happy to see it come and see it go.

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