Fly Guyana for New York route from October

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Fly Guyana for New York route from October

Unread post by bimjim » Tue Jul 02, 2013

http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2013/ ... m-october/

Fly Guyana for New York route from October
-CAL defends US$1,400 fare
July 2, 2013

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has defended its fares even as Government announced that another airline, Fly Guyana Airlines, will be introducing daily flights to New York from October.

Over a week ago, Tourism Minister (ag), Irfaan Ali, railed against the Trinidad-owned airline, accusing it of taking advantage of Guyanese.

According to Ali, Caribbean Airlines was earlier this year granted flag carrier status in Guyana, allowing it to fly directly to New York and Canada. Passengers are now forced to forkout over US$1,400 in cases for a return ticket to New York.

The Minister was also upset at complaints which said that Guyanese in transit at Port-of-Spain, are forced to disembark and check with Customs and Immigration before being allowed to board flights to North America. This was totally in contradiction to the arrangements with CAL which in being granted flag carrier status, was supposed to fly direct to New York. Flights from Guyana to New York are more profitable for CAL.

Yesterday, Head of Communications for CAL, Clint Williams, did not address the passengers’ issue of stopping over in Trinidad as he had not yet got “specific clearance to respond”.

Fly Guyana Airline’s Harry Chowbey announcing the company’s intention to operate the Georgetown/New York route from October.

However, he explained, the US$1,400 return tickets were for business class passengers, not economy as was suggested.

”The airline industry, like all others, is demand driven and in the peak travel seasons, it is natural that many passengers book as early as possible and thus the lower fares are quickly absorbed, leaving the higher fare seats available for later booking passengers,” he said in a statement to this newspaper.

“The fares are structured to yield a viable, reliable and sustainable service.”

The airline official made it clear that CAL has consistently increased available daily seats to North America out of Guyana and introduced non-stop flights to further facilitate travellers.

“We continue to evaluate all routes and assure our Guyanese travellers of our continued commitment to ensuring airlift for the nation in a sustainable manner.”
Guyana has been facing airline seating problem on the popular Georgetown/New York route after first RedJet and then EZjet stopped flying last year.

The US-owned Delta Airlines pulled out earlier this year, saying it was not financially sustainable, a claim that has been debunked by Government. Since then, Government has been desperate for additional airlines to the service. CAL, meanwhile, has been providing a service to Guyana for decades.

With the upcoming August peak season, the desperation has taken new dimensions for Guyana as complaints grow.

According to a statement from the Tourism Ministry on Sunday, it has been on a campaign to attract new operators with the Ministry of Tourism and Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) continuing their marketing and sensitisation campaign.

“One of the most exciting pieces of news is the fact that come October 2013, Fly Guyana Airlines will launch scheduled operations out of Guyana,” the Ministry disclosed Sunday.

A representative of the new airline, Harry Chowbey, said that the operator has already spoken to the Government of Guyana who is supportive. “In the near future, Guyana will have back their airline.”

Alluding to the scope of the operations, he explained that the new airlines will fly the GT-NY route seven days a week and that the management will direct all of its energies towards managing this route before expanding.

“Our message will be simple, come home to Guyana,” Chowbey stated.

Chowbey made a presentation during the Guyana Trade and Tourism Expo in New York over the weekend. Representing Guyana were Minister Ali; tour operator Kit Nascimento and former West Indies cricket captain, Clive Lloyd.

The airline official, who worked with Delta and Continental, has been in talks with Government over the past few months, with the latter committed to exploring new avenues to remedy the current shortfall in airlift to Guyana, particularly since the exit of EZjet and Delta Airlines.

“Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Irfaan Ali, has reiterated the dedication to this goal and has re-assured that the challenge of providing adequate and reliable airlift to and from the destination is being met head on as the Government has been engaging other airlines, including COPA Airlines, to begin operations in Guyana,” the release said.

Fly Jamaica, another airline partially owned by Guyanese pilot, Ronald Reece, is also expected to start operations in Guyana by the end of July, and will be transporting passengers to New York, Canada and Caribbean countries.

According to the Ministry, Roxanne Reece, wife of the Fly Jamaica shareholder, the airline hopes to have all arrangements settled by this time to place Guyana on the first leg before beginning Toronto fights.

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