The Government of Guyana on Thursday announced that it has granted full Guyana National Flag Carrier status to the Trinidad owned Caribbean Airlines. The announcement came just three days after U.S carrier Delta Airlines ended its service to Guyana.
The move by Delta has left Caribbean Airlines as the only carrier plying the New York – Georgetown and Toronto-Georgetown routes. Surinam Airways is the only other international airline flying from Guyana, but its service is between Georgetown and Miami.
Government’s Chief Spokesman Dr. Roger Luncheon made the announcement at a press briefing at the Office of the President and said the decision will allow Caribbean Airlines to provide direct flights between Georgetown and New York and Georgetown and Toronto. He said the Government intends to inform the Aviation Regulatory bodies in both the US and Canada will be informed of the flag carrier status decision. Caribbean Airlines and its predecessor BWIA, have together been serving the Guyana market for over fifty years.
In December 2012, the Government announced that it had granted flag carrier status for Caribbean Airlines to fly the Toronto route. Over the past year, the administration has held a number of high level meetings with Caribbean Airlines about its service to the Guyana market.
Caribbean Airlines has come under scrutiny in Trinidad and Tobago recently over the state of its finances. There have been reports that the airline has requested financial support from the Trinidadian Government.
Meanwhile, Fly Jamaica which is a new Jamaican carrier owned by Guyanese Paul Reece is still awaiting word from the Guyana government on its application to begin operations in the Guyana market. The carrier intends to offer services between Georgetown and New York and Georgetown and Kingston, Jamaica.
Dr. Luncheon said although the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority has recommended that the airline be granted permission, Cabinet is still to take up the matter. He said there may have been some outstanding issues that were being addressed.