Published On: Tue, Dec 31st, 2013

Haiti Aviation bouncing back after hard hit

haiti-aviationMIAMI – Following the events that led to Haiti Aviation’s abrupt suspension of flights, it appears that they are still in the battle and have even shown signs of a possible comeback. A recent letter sent by the company’s CEO, Charles Voigt, states that customers are advised to call their credit card companies for a refund.

Surprisingly to thousands of passengers, the cost of their ticket has been refunded. Additionally, Haiti Aviation reported that they are working tirelessly to resume flights, but reimbursements of customers take precedence for the moment.

“We have been up to date on our contract with Falcon Air Express (FAE), and we don’t owe them any money. I couldn’t understand why out of the blue, they stopped leasing us the aircraft and left thousands of our customers stranded,” said Voigt during a meeting last weekend. “Nelson Ramiz said we owe him money which I know is not true. Since he sent us the cancellation notice, we’ve focused on reimbursing our customers because we know we will find a solution to this and resume flights soon,” said Voigt.

Unbeknownst to most, Nelson Ramiz - CEO of FAE - also owns 100% shares of Dutch Antilles Express (DAE) which has its base in Curacao. Two press publications from Curacao – Amigoe and Curacao Chronicle – both reported that Ramiz and DAE filed for bankruptcy in August 2013. Similarly to Haiti Aviation’s case, Dutch Antilles Express had nearly 25,000 Venezuelan passengers stranded. Ramiz signed a one year contract with Haiti Aviation for the McDonnell Douglas 83 aircraft in the midst of his bankruptcy talks with the Venezuelan Civil Aviation Authority.

“I ask that all my employees and travel agents residing in Haiti be held harmless in this case because they acted in good faith. May no act of anger or manifestation be aimed at them. As much as this situation was out of my control, I still take full responsibility for the matter,” Voigt said adamantly. “It would make no sense for us to purposefully suspend flights on December 19 because the days to follow would have been our high-season during which we recoup ourselves from previous expenses, “clarified Voigt.

Haiti Aviation has not been able to announce an expected date of return yet, but they say it will happen very soon.

"I received a phone call on behalf of Haiti Aviation Thursday afternoon, expressing their intention to refund my ticket cost,” said Marvin Afoloyan a passenger who paid his ticket with cash. “Although I was frustrated with them, I’m glad that they are reaching out to their passengers,” he added.

“I thank all those who stand by me during this troublesome time and we appreciate your ongoing support” said Voigt. “We want the Haitian people to know that we are still marching with everyone who are marching with us.”


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