…Min Patterson hails airline’s entry as timely
The highly anticipated entry into Guyana’s travel market by American carrier, JetBlue, was confirmed on Tuesday morning when the popular airline announced that it will be operating daily flights between these shores and New York from April 2020.
JetBlue stated in a press release that passengers would have been able to start booking flights from yesterday, Tuesday, and local travelers were abuzz after the announcement spread across social media. The carrier will be offering its service using the Airbus A321Neo aircraft.
The flights will commence on April 2, 2020 with a schedule departure time from the JFK airport at 23:55hrs, arriving 6 hours later. The flights will depart the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) at 0720 hrs.
“Guyana service introduces a diverse and underserved destination to the JetBlue route map which will benefit both leisure travelers, as well as those visiting friends and relatives,” said Andrea Lusso, director route planning at JetBlue.
“Just as we’ve done in our South American markets in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, we’re introducing a new, low fare high-quality choice to travelers in Guyana,” Lusso said.
“The Government of Guyana is delighted to welcome the services of JetBlue to Guyana,” said Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson.
He added that, “The introduction of this immensely popular low cost carrier will see lower ticket prices to Georgetown and provide travelers with an opportunity to fly on an airline of choice to their favorite destination. This agreement with JetBlue is timely and comes on the heels of continued and sustainable growth in several sectors of our economy, including, service, tourism, mining and oil and gas.”
In a statement issued late on Tuesday, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said that in correspondence addressed to Director General , Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Egbert Field of GCAA, JetBlue documented their intended route, proposed aircraft, frequency of flights and start date.
“In the coming weeks, the GCAA will meet JetBlue officials and will assign a team comprising various technical officers to conduct safety, security and economic assessment of JetBlue’s proposed operations in Guyana,” the GCAA said.
The aviation umbrella body said that the addition of JetBlue with other airlines operating in Guyana will benefit the travelling public from the increased airlift in and out of country at competitive prices.
“We are extremely excited to welcome JetBlue’s new non-stop services from New York-JFK to Georgetown, Guyana,” said Brian T. Mullis, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority.
“2019 has been quite a year – winning five international awards, increased route options to Europe, new community-led and owned tourism product development, increased stakeholder collaboration, growing demand in our target markets and now JetBlue improving connectivity with one of our core markets – North America.”
Fourth South American destination
JetBlue said that Guyana becomes the fourth country in South America it serves and grows the airline’s presence in Latin America and Caribbean where it is a leading carrier serving nearly 40 destinations.
The new nonstop flight between New York City and the CJIA will be made possible by the A321neo’s extended range and fuel efficiency, the popular carrier said.
The A321Neo – the newest aircraft type to join JetBlue’s growing fleet of more than 250 aircraft – boasts a 20% increase in fuel efficiency which supports some 500 nautical miles of extended range. The longer-range flying capabilities of the A321neo open up a host of new markets which JetBlue’s existing fleet could not serve with nonstop flights, including recently announced service between New York-JFK and Guayaquil, Ecuador, launching this December.
Travel in comfort
Inside the aircraft, JetBlue’s award-winning comfort and connectivity will be the focus of the onboard customer experience.
The carrier said the A321neo will feature the Collins Meridian seat – which is the widest seat available for the single aisle Airbus family of aircraft – with enhanced cushion comfort, adjustable headrests, power connections at every seat and the most legroom in coach (b).
It noted that in-flight entertainment will be powered by Thales AVANT and ViaSat-2 connectivity. With this system – featuring 10.1 inch, 1080P high definition screens, more than 100 channels of live television with DVR-like pause and rewind functionality, picture-in-picture function and more – JetBlue will offer customers expanded entertainment choices in nearly every region the airline flies (c).
JetBlue said it is the only major U.S. airline with seatback entertainment screens at every seat on every aircraft.
Gateway to Guyana
According to JetBlue, just five hours from New York by air, Georgetown serves as the gateway to Guyana. It said that with pristine beaches in the north, mountain ranges to the west, vast rainforests and never-ending savannahs in the south, Guyana has emerged as a playground for adventurists and modern-day explorers.
JetBlue’s newest route will also connect New York’s Guyanese American community – the largest in the U.S. – with Guyana’s capital city, making the connections between friends and family easier and closer than ever.
Guyana has attracted attention from several global air carriers in recent years and as the country’s petroleum industry evolves, a number of international companies have expressed an interest in investing in the economy.
Guyana’s economy is expected to be boosted significantly in the coming years as the country prepares for the commercial extraction of oil.
American oil giant ExxonMobil has made 13 discoveries since May 2015 and will begin producing up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day from the Liza Phase 1 development in early 2020.
The stakes grew higher for the country recently when UK oil firm, Tullow, announced that it discovered oil in commercial quantities in the Canje block offshore Guyana. That company is in the process of shifting its operations from neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago as it focuses on its projects here.