Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Irfaan Ali, is urging all businesses to petition the U.S Department of Transportation to allow Fly Jamaica to operate direct flights between Guyana and New York.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Minister Ali reiterated the need for all stakeholders, including the business community to rally in support of the new airline.
“We believe that there must be fair and open competition and if the fact remains that there is no American Carrier in the market then we view this as a regressive step. The decision to deny the application for direct flights is one that does not fit into our business interest and it is something that I think we have to fight and respond to as a country.
At present, there is no American Carrier in the market and Fly Jamaica will face a very burdensome position of flying through Jamaica.
More importantly, the decision by the US will only add more cost to the operations of the airline, which will undoubtedly affect ticket prices.
The government has been working hard to build and maintain capacity in the air transport sector and we acknowledge that Fly Jamaica’s operations in Guyana will aid in significantly boosting the capacity in the local air transportation sector; we know too that a significant per cent of the Guyanese Diaspora live in or near New York and this decision has also left Guyanese without a direct flight option to New York.”
On September 30, the US Transport Department rejected the application of Fly Jamaica, which sought permission to have direct flights between Guyana and New York. This means that passengers using this service will have to in transit in Jamaica before heading to New York. Fly Jamaica has since petitioned the Department to reverse its decision.
The Government has committed to exploring new avenues to remedy the current shortfall in airlift to Guyana, particularly since the exit of EZjet and Delta Airlines.
The Tourism Minister has reaffirmed the dedication to this goal and reassured that the challenge to provide adequate and reliable airlift to and from Guyana is being met head on. (GINA)