750 by zhouwenjuan


									                                   BEFORE THE
                            OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
                                WASHINGTON, D.C.

Opposition to                           )
TRANSANTLANTIC AIRLINES LIMITED         )                     Docket OST-2003-15822
Application for an Exemption Renewal    )                           September 2, 2004


       Pursuant to 14 C.F.R. § 302.204 subsection (a), Kambi Travel International
(hereafter “Kambi Travel”) hereby files this opposition to Transatlantic Airlines Limited
application for renewal and amendment of its exemption authority to engage in the
foreign air transportation of persons, property, and mail between the United States and
West Africa, filed with the Department on August 18, 2004.

       In support of this opposition, Kambi Travel submits the following:

       1.      Background. Kambi Travel International is a Maryland corporation
located in Largo Maryland, which is in the business of selling airline tickets to the
traveling public. On September 2003, Kambi Travel made two separate bookings for a
total of two hundred and fifty (250) persons on Transatlantic Airlines (TAA) to travel
from Washington D.C. to Freetown, Sierra Leone, with departure dates scheduled for
December 15 and 22, 2003 respectfully, from Washington Dulles International Airport.
As consideration, Kambi Travel negotiated to pay TAA a Net Fare of $1042.00 plus taxes
of $109.00 for a total of $1150.00 per passenger. TAA booked and confirmed the tickets.

       Subsequently and contrary to industry practice, TAA’s CEO, Mr. Innocent O.
Njoku, demanded that Kambi Travel make full payment for bookings of all passengers.
                                                                   TransAtlantic Airlines Limited
                                                 Opposition to Exemption Renewal & Amendment

Kambi Travel thereafter attempted to negotiate for a reasonable deposit of $50.00 to
$100.00 per seat with TAA for the bookings. TAA rejected the offer and demanded that
Kambi Travel deposit more than half the total price of the tickets to guarantee flight
bookings. Under pressure from the carrier, Kambi Travel thereafter remitted checks in the
amount of $100,000.00 plus $666.00 per passenger to TAA for 150 passengers scheduled
for travel on December 15, 2003 and $50,000.00 plus $500.00 per passenger for
passengers scheduled for travel on December 22, 2003 as deposit (See Attached
Exhibit# 1: Trans Atlantic Letter-Chief Njoku). An additional deposit of $45,000.00
was also made to TAA at the demand of its CEO, Mr. Njoku. $30,000 of which was paid
at the instructions of Mr. Njoku to his pilot at JFK Airport to take to Africa on December
12, 2003 and the remainder, $15,000 as a wire transfer to Sky Quest, which Kambi
Travel was led to believe by Mr. Njoku, constituted payment for catering of the flight
since Sky Quest had refused to extend credit to TAA to conduct catering services (See
Attached Exhibit# 2: Wire Transfer Verification, and Exhibit# 3: Transatlantic
Letter-Nadine Archer).

       2.       TAA’s Operations. Throughout Kambi Travel’s dealings with TAA, the
carrier proved completely unreliable. TAA assured Kambi Travel that it would start its
scheduled flight operations, including flights booked by Kambi Travel, on October 1,
2003. Despite these assurances, the carrier postponed commencement of flight services
on numerous occasions in October, November and December, 2003 and continued to
provide Kambi Travel with false assurances about the commencement of its flight
services. On December 3, 2003, TAA once again guaranteed Kambi Travel that it would
commence the scheduled flight on December 8, 15 and 22, 2003 from the Washington
Dulles airport (See Attached Exhibit# 4: Transatlantic Letter December 3, 2003—
Chief Njoku).

       In reliance on TAA’s representations, Kambi Travel informed its passengers to
appear on the stated dates for travel. Without notice, TAA cancelled the flights and did
not provide any representatives at JFK and Washington Dulles Airports to assist
passengers or provide them with an explanation. Kambi Travel continually expressed its

                                                                   TransAtlantic Airlines Limited
                                                 Opposition to Exemption Renewal & Amendment

concerns to TAA’s CEO, Mr. Njoku about the ability of the carrier to perform its
obligations to Kambi Travel and passengers. TAA was operating with only one plane
and one crew, Kambi Travel was concerned that the carrier would not be able to transport
passengers both from JFK and Washington Dulles airports. TAA once again provided
assurances in writing to Kambi Travel that it had made arrangements and everything was
in order for the scheduled Washington Dulles flight departures on December 8, 15 and
22, 2003. Again, TAA’s assurances were false.

       3. TAA’s Washington Flight. On December 15, 2003, Kambi Travel’s passengers
appeared for their TAA flight scheduled to depart at 7:00 p.m. that night from
Washington Dulles Airport. Half-way through the check-in process, it was announced to
Kambi Travel and its passengers, for the first time over the PA system, that TAA had
cancelled the scheduled flight. As a result, Kambi Travel was confronted by, and had to
pacify its angry and frustrated passengers, some of whom had expended thousands of
dollars for the trip and the majority of whom had planned to make it to Africa for the
Christmas holiday season. Consequently, Kambi Travel suffered damages, financial and
to its business reputation, and the company’s owner and manager suffered personal
injuries, in part, sustained during altercations that ensued from frustrated passengers. No
information was given to Kambi Travel or its passengers by TAA as to when there would
be another flight. Although passengers were left stranded, TAA never bothered to contact
Kambi Travel for at least a few days after the incident.

       When the carrier finally contacted Kambi Travel, Kambi Travel requested that its
passengers be given priority on a TAA flight that was scheduled to depart from JFK on
December 17, 2003, TAA requested that Kambi Travel make the necessary arrangements
to get its passengers to JFK. Again, in reliance on TAA assurances and at the personal
request of TAA’s Vice President, Mr. Azhar Zaidi, Kambi Travel incurred additional
expenses arranging for five (5) luxury coaches and two high cube trucks to carry all TAA
passengers and luggage (including TAA’s other passengers from cancelled flights of
December 8 and 12, 2003), from Washington to New York to catch the JFK flight

                                                                   TransAtlantic Airlines Limited
                                                 Opposition to Exemption Renewal & Amendment

(See attached Exhibit# 5). Upon the passengers’ arrival at JFK airport, they were once
again informed that TAA had cancelled the scheduled flight. As a result, several
passengers were stranded in New York, some of whom were provided with hotel
accommodations by TAA and others had to sleep at the airport waiting for a TAA flight.
Passengers initially provided with hotel rooms, were subsequently locked out of their
rooms as a result of TAA’s failure to pay for their accommodations or make timely

        In order to accommodate the remaining passengers stranded in New York, Kambi
Travel made arrangements with another carrier, Ghana Airways, to take some of its
passengers at a higher fare of $1643.00 per passenger. As a result, Kambi Travel incurred
additional losses in the amount of $27,000.00 (See Attached Exhibit# 6: Ghana
Airways Invoice and Passenger List). According to ABC News, Channel 7 “On Your
Side”, a program which aired around this time, a substantial number of passengers were
left stranded in New York JFK airport as a result of TAA’s actions. A number of these
stranded passengers were Kambi Travel’s passengers from the greater Washington, DC

        On December 19, 2003, TAA finally arranged for one flight to transport
passengers, but this did not alleviate the problem because of backlog. The majority of
passengers were left stranded and to find their own means of transportation back home or
to their initial destination. As for those passengers that TAA was able to accommodate on
the flight, some were left stranded in Freetown, Sierra Leone with no immediate means of
returning to the United States, and for those who made the return trip, the carrier dropped
the passengers in New York, instead of Washington D.C., which was the route the
passengers had bargained for and paid tickets. Consequently, Kambi Travel once again
had to expend funds on charter buses and trucks to transport the passengers from New
York JFK airport to Washington.

                                                                    TransAtlantic Airlines Limited
                                                  Opposition to Exemption Renewal & Amendment

          4. TAA Cancels December 22, 2003 Flight. In and around December 17, 2003,
TAA informed Kambi Travel through its attorney that the carrier intended to cancel its
December 22, 2003 flight from Washington, for which Kambi Travel had booked 100
passengers, made an initial deposit of $50,000.00 and TAA had issued tickets. TAA did
not reimburse Kambi Travel for the initial deposit of $50,000.00 and once again Kambi
Travel was made to incur financial damages in accommodating its passengers, which
required the purchase of higher priced tickets for some of Kambi Travels scheduled
December 22 passengers and reimbursement of funds to others. TAA never reimbursed
Kambi Travel for any of these funds.

          5. The Public Interest in not granting TAA’s Application. For the reasons set
forth above, it is not in the public interest, as defined in 49 USC §40101, for the
Department of Transportation (“DOT”) to renew and amend TAA’s exemption, as
requested in its application before the Department. TAA has proven itself on numerous
occasions unfit to provide foreign air transportation services between the U.S. and West

          The carrier has left American passengers stranded both in the United States and in
Africa. Its representatives have demonstrated unreliability and its services are
exceedingly deficient. TAA has taken money from passengers and travel agents, such as
Kambi Travel, breached its obligations to the parties and failed to compensate the parties
for monies owed. TAA’s actions are contrary to Federal regulations which require
airliners to compensate passengers whose confirmed reservations are not honored and
passengers who are involuntarily prevented from boarding flights due to overbooking
(Reference: 14 C.F.R. §250.5, 250.8 (2004)).

          Furthermore, based on information and belief, the carrier has made significant
misrepresentations to the Department in its application for exemption renewal and
amendment. We have reason to believe that the government of Sierra Leone is in the
process or has revoked the carrier’s license to operate in the country. Also, based on
information and belief, TAA does not presently have offices or representatives in

                                                                   TransAtlantic Airlines Limited
                                                 Opposition to Exemption Renewal & Amendment

Freetown, Sierra Leone as represented to the Department (See Attached Exhibit# 7:
Letter from Santanno House) and the carrier’s corporate records are replete with
misrepresentations and questionable information.

       6. Remedies. Based on the foregoing, TAA has not utilized its previous
exemptions granted by the Department in the public’s best interest. TAA has proved unfit
to operate as a foreign air carrier and therefore we request that in the best interest of the
American public, the Department not renew and amend TAA’s exemption authority to
continue operating as a foreign carrier in the United States, especially at a time in history
where airlines must be fully competent and mindful of details. We further request the
Department conduct its own investigation into this matter and demand that TAA make all
necessary reparations to Kambi Travel and its passengers.

                                              Respectfully Submitted,

                                              George R. Johnson
                                              Saint-Louis & Johnson P.C.
                                              1667 K Street, N.W., Suite 1100
                                              Washington, D.C 20006
                                              Telephone: (202) 785-2890
                                              Facsimile: (202) 785-2891
                                              Counsel for Kambi Travel International Inc.

Dated: September 2, 2004

                                                                                 TransAtlantic Airlines Limited
                                                               Opposition to Exemption Renewal & Amendment

                                    CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

        I hereby certify that I have this date served a copy of the foregoing “Opposition
Of Kambi Travel International to Transantlantic Airlines Limited Application For
Exemption and Amendment” on the persons identified below by causing a copy to be
sent by electronic mail or by first class mail, as indicated.

        Recipient                         Company                                    E-Mail Address
 George U. Carneal &        Hogan & Hartson L.L.P.                         gucarneal@hhlaw.com
 Ronald P. Brower                                                          rpbrower@hhlaw.com

 John Byerly                U.S. Department of State                       byerlyjr@state.gov

 Paul Gretch                Office of International Aviation               Paul.gretch@ost.dot.gov

 Carl Nelson, Jr.           American Airlines                              carl.nelson@aa.com

 John Richardson            Amerijet                                       jrichardson@johnlrichardson.com

 Russell Pommer             Atlas                                          rpommer@atlasair.com

 Hershel Kamen              Continental Airlines                           hkamen@coair.com

 R. Bruce Keiner, Jr.       Crowell & Moring (Continental)                 rbkeiner@crowell.com

 Robert Cohn &              Shaw Pittman Potts & Trowbridge (Delta)        robert.cohn@shawpittman.com
 Alexander Van der Bellen                                                  sascha.vanderbellen@shawpittman.com

 Angie Garbuzinski &        FedEx                                          anbird@fedex.com
 Melissa Jones                                                             melissa.jones3@fedex.com

 Megan Rae Rosia &          Northwest Airlines                             megan.rosia@nwa.com
 Daniel Skwarek                                                            daniel.skwarek@nwa.com

 Jeffrey Manley &           Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (United)            jmanley@wilmer.com
 Bruce Rabinovitz                                                          brabinovitz@wilmer.com

 David Vaughan              Kelley, Drye & Warren (UPS)                    dvaughan@kelleydryer.com

 David Kirstein             Baker & Hostetler (World)                      dkirstein@bakerlaw.com

 Rachel Trinder             Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger                  rbtrinder@zsrlaw.com
                            (City of Houston)

 Jonathan Blank             Preston Gates Ellis (State of Maryland)        jblank@prestongates.com

 Bradley Rubinstein         Port Authority of New York & New Jersey        brubinst@panynj.gov

 Mary Kirby                 Airlines Transfer International                mary.kirby@rati.com

Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority
1 Aviation Circle
Washington, D.C. 20001-6000

September 2, 2004                                                           George R. Johnson


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