From Channel 5 Belize:
Guatemala bans Belizean commercial flightsBelize’s two local airlines are feeling the pinch following the banning of Belizean commercial flights into Guatemala. According to spokespersons for Tropic and Maya Island Air, the ban, which was instituted on November fifteenth, involves the upgrading of Guatemala’s civil aviation standards: specifically their requirement that all airlines flying to the country have a valid Air Operator’s Certificate. Although Belize’s local airlines, which each fly twice daily to Flores, Peten, were notified six months ago, they have not been able to complete the necessary technical paperwork. Following several extensions, the Guatemalans finally enforced the new regulations and since Thursday Maya and Tropic have stopped flying across the border. Ironically, while the airlines have been forced to refund fares and with tourists either cancelling or arranging ground transport, the biggest loser has been the tourist industry in Peten which has been deprived of around thirty visitors per day, largely to the ancient Maya site of Tikal. Late word is that following negotiations between the two countries’ civil aviation authorities, a compromise is being worked out to give the Belizeans interim landing rights and more time to comply with the regulations. At news time, however, the flight ban remained in effect.