The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has denied requests by Caribbean Airlines and Fly Jamaica to fly direct from Georgetown, Guyana, to New York, saying the carriers did not provide compelling evidence that doing so will be in the public’s interest.
“In light of these existing Georgetown-New York services and the lack of a showing by the applicants on the record that there is a truly demonstrable need for additional Georgetown-New York services, we are unable to find that the CAL and Fly Jamaica seventh freedom turnaround proposals satisfy our public interest test for the type of extraordinary authority at issue,’ states the order dated September 30.
The Guyana government had hoped that the granting of flag carrier statuses to Caribbean Airlines and Fly Jamaica would have aided those airlines in offering cheaper direct flights from Georgetown to New York. But the DoT said the applications did not pass the test that would have aided American authorities to conclude that a demonstrable need for the service exists, there would be a negligible impact on U.S. flag carriers, and the proposed operation is limited in scope. “Against that background, we have reviewed the applications of CAL and Fly Jamaica and determined that we cannot make the necessary public interest finding,” states DoT. The US regulatory agency assured that the decisions would not affect Fly Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines’ flights to New York through Kingston and Port-of-Spain respectively.
Petitions against the order could be filed within seven days of that action although, according to DoT, filing of petitions would not alter its effectiveness which began Wednesday. Fly Jamaica’s Chief Executive Officer, Ronald Reece said no decision has been taken about whether to appeal the order. “They have seven days to appeal and we have not made a decision yet. The Board is still looking at it,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.
Two organisations-Airlines for America and the Air Line Pilots Association- had opposed the requests by the Fly Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines. Air Line Pilots Association has contended that oil-rich Trinidad and Tobago has been providing a “substantial fuel subsidy” to CAL “and at least one US carrier has ceased services in the market. For all of these reasons, the Department should deny these applications.” [. . .]