Guyana welcomes direct flights from Canada

Guyana on Tuesday welcomed a momentous development in its aviation and tourism sector as it inaugurated direct flights from Canada, courtesy of the collaboration between Canadian Jetline and Fly Always Air Services.

This milestone marks a significant advancement for the nation, enabling members of the Canadian Diaspora and tourists alike to effortlessly visit Guyana via non-stop flights, simplifying their journeys.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill greeting passengers

The grand welcoming ceremony was held at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), where Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill expressed his enthusiasm, highlighting that the infrastructural development at the CJIA has enabled Code F-type aircraft to land in the country earlier today.

He further elaborated that the arrival of the Fly Always aircraft is an achievement of His Excellency, the President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

“Your government being led by President Ali has been working every day to ensure that Guyanese who want to come home for fun, for family engagements, for business as well as Canadians who want to come to Guyana to experience our Tourism package…must be able to get here with ease and with comfort and this is just one of the many interventions that is being made to bring that to fruition,” he noted.

Fly Always Aircraft

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar, who serves within the Ministry of Public Works, highlighted Guyana’s rapid growth and increasing global recognition

He said “Everybody wants to come to Guyana, but the dilemma is how to get here. That’s why we always need more airlines serving Guyana.”

The new non-stop route from Toronto, Canada, to Guyana, operated by Fly Always, will offer biweekly flights on an A320 aircraft with a seating capacity of 174.

This translates to 696 seats per week or a remarkable 36,192 seats annually. The increased connectivity will provide passengers with more options and enhanced competitiveness in terms of airfare to Guyana. The aircraft will make a brief stop in the Dominican Republic for refuelling purposes.

Greeting of passengers

Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism, Industry, and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, noted the significance of the aircraft transitioning through the Dominican Republic as the government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Dominican Republic, for collaboration and partnership in the tourism sector.

“The DR is a mammoth in the tourism sector since they have been at it for so long and there is so much that Guyana can learn in terms of twining our products. Where people for just two hours they can fly and come and experience our amazing country, our ecotourism, our rain forest, our waters, and our adventure and so much that Guyana has to offer. Not to mention the large diaspora that Guyana has in Canada.”

Tourism is a priority sector for Guyana’s government, which has been actively investing in infrastructure improvements, including airport upgrades, stadium construction, and hotel development, to diversify its tourism product.

Tokens for arriving passengers

As of August 2023, Guyana has witnessed a remarkable increase in passenger numbers, totalling 480,384 compared to 421,484 passengers during the corresponding period of 2022, marking a 14 per cent surge in arrivals and departures.

This figure is currently eight per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Before March 2020, Guyana had six carriers conducting scheduled flights. Since then, four more carriers, including Jet Blue, Inter Caribbean Airways, Fly Always, and British Airways, have joined the fray under the PPP/C Administration, enhancing connectivity and accessibility.

Guyana’s cargo operations have also seen substantial growth, with August 2023 figures showing 7,114 tonnes compared to 5,627 tonnes during the same period in 2022, reflecting a 26 per cent increase. Cargo imports rose by 22 per cent, primarily driven by increased industrial supplies and bulk packages. Exports recorded a remarkable 47 per cent increase, attributed mainly to greater shipments of perishable products such as fresh-cut flowers, fruits, vegetables, and consumer goods in 2023.

With these developments, Guyana is poised to further solidify its position on the global tourism and aviation map, offering travellers and businesses convenient access to its vibrant culture, natural wonders, and economic opportunities. The direct flights from Canada represent a pivotal step towards realizing Guyana’s potential as a premier destination for visitors from around the world.

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