Ronald Reece has always had a passion for planes. The certified pilot bought his first aircraft – a Cessna 185 single-engine skywagon – at age 29 and later augmented his Cessna fleet with the 205 super skywagon and the turboprop engine Caravan.
With financial support from his wife and young daughter, Kayla, Reece recently purchased a Boeing 757 aircraft that’s leased to Fly Jamaica Airways, in which he has a stake as chief executive officer. Chief Operating Officer Lloyd Tai and in-flight services manager, Christine Steele, are among the Jamaican shareholders.
Registered in Jamaica, the airline has received its operation certificate from the Jamaican government and is waiting on the Federal Aviation Administration to fly into the United States and landing rights for Canada.
Once approved, the airline will offer full service to Guyana, Jamaica, Toronto and New York.
“It has been a lifelong dream to provide airline service between Guyana and North America,” Reece, a former Guyana Airways pilot, said at a meeting last week with travel operators and the media. “Hopefully we will be up and operating commercially as soon as we get a few necessary things resolved.”
The aircraft has 12 first-class and 186 economy-class seats and its flight attendants are former Air Jamaica staff.
“These are experienced people who are well qualified,” Reece said.
Greater Toronto Area-based Neil “Butch” Savory is the chief pilot. The former air traffic controller was a First Officer with the defunct Guyana Airways before migrating to Canada 13 years ago. He was also a captain with the defunct Skyservice and Ethiopian Airlines.
Travel agents Illias Auckbaraullee and Syed Kayman and broker Doug Maloney also attended the event.
By RON FANFAIR