April 13, 1999
Government sells 51 percent of Guyana Airways

                  GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) -- The Guyanese government will sell a 51
                  percent stake in state-owned Guyana Airways to local investors for dlrs 1.8
                  million and an agreement to absorb dlrs 3.3 million in debts.

                  Aviation Investments Limited, which was formed by investors during a
                  three-month bidding process, said Monday it will rename the company
                  Guyana Air 2000. It hopes to renew flights to New York and Toronto by
                  May 22, before the summer tourism season begins.

                  The investment group is led by the Guyana Aircraft Owners Association, an
                  organization of light airplane owners and charter operators.

                  Demerara Distillers Ltd., a maker of rum; packaged food company Venilli
                  Industries Ltd.; and gold producer Correia Mining Enterprises are also
                  members of the group.

                  New chairman Yesu Persaud said the new owners will have to restore the
                  airline's credibility with customers and foreign safety regulators. He said the
                  airline hopes to begin selling tickets by next week.

                  The airline collapsed in February after the U.S. Federal Aviation
                  Administration and Transport Canada barred its leased Boeing 757 from
                  their countries because of concerns over its cracks in its landing gear.

                  Once the Caribbean's only profitable airline, Guyana Airways has been
                  plagued by maintenance problems for more than a year, forcing it to lease
                  other aircraft to cover flights and draining the company's reserves.

                  The airline is now about dlrs 9.3 million in debt. The government said it
                  would assume dlrs 6 million of the unpaid bills.

                  The company has laid off more than 300 employees. Persaud said they
                  would be given preference when the company begins hiring workers again.

                  Last month, the company returned the Boeing 757 to its owner,
                  California-based International Lease Financing Corporation, after company
                  negotiators reached an agreement to avoid early return penalties.

                  Government officials have been in talks with American Airlines to expand
                  turboprop airplane service to Guyana from nearby Trinidad while Guyana
                  Airways is grounded.

                    Copyright 1999 The Associated Press.