When Delta Airlines cuts its service to Guyana in early May, Caribbean Airlines and Suriname Airways will be the only two carriers plying the American market. Surinam Airways only flies to Miami while Caribbean Airlines takes on both the Miami and New York markets. Delta’s departure after five years of service between Guyana and New York is worrying for the Tourism Ministry and sections of the private sector.
Efforts to convince Delta to put a hold on its permanent departure have failed and the Government is now looking at other carriers and has solicited the help of the local private sector to get its message across to the other airlines.
Minister of Tourism Irfaan Ali today said a team is being put together comprising members of the Government and the Private Sector to travel to Atlanta, Georgia and try to convince other U.S carriers to consider the Guyana market.
The Minister today admitted that the Delta departure will leave a void in the sector and he said although Caribbean Airlines has already made moves to increase the number of flights between Georgetown and New York, there is still the need for more flights and other airlines.
Ali said it is clear that many of the U.S based airlines are looking at more lucrative routes where there is a higher percentage seats being sold. He said there may also be the need for Guyana to get more involved in the South American market and look at airlines that operate in this region.
Over the past year, the Government of Guyana has held talks with Virgin Atlantic, Jet Blue and other major airlines in efforts to increase the number of carriers that may find the Guyana market interesting. In the past, airlines have complained about Guyana’s high fuel costs, taxes and the problem of drug trafficking. Airlines usually face huge fines in the United States once they would have transported a drug trafficker with illegal drugs.