Curacao flag carrier Insel Air landed its inaugural flight at the Cheddi Jagan Airport during heavy welcoming rainfall on a dark Wednesday night, hoping to build itself as the bridge between Guyana and Europe through the Dutch Caribbean.
The airline arrived with 60 passengers aboard its MD- 82 aircraft and now intends to begin an aggressive marketing campaign to showcase Destination Guyana and other destinations.
The airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Frederick Nuboer, believes the airline will do well in the Guyana market because passengers coming from Europe and Asia could easily connect to Guyana via Holland and Aruba. According to the CEO, the Guyana destination “already shows that there is a need for not only Aruba but also for other countries abroad. There were passengers coming in from the East, from Holland and even further than that to Aruba and then on to this beautiful country”.
He said the airline has already received a forecast that the flights to and from Guyana will be “filled up quickly”, and the company is happy for the opportunity to add Guyana to its growing list of destinations.
The airline will have twice weekly flights from Guyana to Curacao and onto other Insel Air destinations including Aruba, Jamaica and Miami. Officials from the airline believe the new service will create a unique link across the Dutch and English Caribbean that will offer Guyanese more vacation and shopping choices.
In Guyana, Roraima Airways is serving as the local agent for the Curacao airline. Roraima Airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Captain Gerry Gouveia welcomed the new service and underscored its importance to the Guyana market at this time. He said with more choices, Guyanese travelers are expected to experience more than just improved service.
He also used the opportunity to encourage the political leaders to move ahead with support for the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan Airport. Gouveia told the reception that Guyana must be prepared for the emerging world of travel and efforts to expand the airport should be supported as the country also markets its tourism product.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Cheddi Jagan Airport Ramesh Ghir made similar statements and said with two other airlines expected to launch their service to Guyana within weeks, there is definitely a need for the airport’s expansion drive to move forward. C
The airline already flies to a number of Caribbean destinations including Jamaica, St. Maarten and the Dominican Republic. It also serves a number of South American destinations.
Insel Air will be operating the MD-80 aircraft which could accommodate up to 157 passengers. All of its flights from Guyana to Miami are expected to have a brief stop over in Aruba. The airline started operations in 2006.