Diaspora welcomes direct flights from UK
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The airline’s operations will commence by March 27, 2023 (photo by skytrax.com)
The airline’s operations will commence by March 27, 2023 (photo by skytrax.com)

THE introduction of internationally accredited airline, British Airways, in Guyana, has been lauded as an “excellent initiative” and a “welcome convenience” by Guyanese citizens living in the United Kingdom (UK).
The airline’s operations will commence by March 27, 2023, plying the Guyana route twice weekly while making stops in Caribbean Community (CARICOM) sister country, St. Lucia.

Amna Bartholomew, a Guyanese citizen who has been living in Southampton for the past 18 years, was among those who expressed excitement, noting that she has not visited Guyana since 2016 due to the high cost and hassle of travelling.

Speaking to the Guyana Chronicle, Bartholomew described the journey as ‘troublesome’, and complained that travelling from the UK to Guyana was “never a smooth journey”.
“Because there was never a direct flight, it was never a smooth journey. Getting your baggage and transferring from one flight to another is a huge inconvenience. Your time is never all yours. We would be stuck at a terminal for hours and sometimes even overnight, waiting for a connecting flight,” she explained.

She added that she found it less expensive and, in some cases, even easier to travel to New York and get a flight to Guyana from there.
She divulged that many times the thought of returning home was what made the strenuous journey somewhat bearable.

Audrey Harding, who has been a resident of London for approximately 12 years, said she would travel once a year to meet family in Guyana, since ‘life is short’ and she intended to make the most of it.
However, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, travelling had been reduced for her, not only due to travel restrictions, but also due to the hike in travel prices.

The cost to travel from the UK to Guyana is approximately £1,070, an amount Harding described as “costly”.
“Travelling to Guyana is terrifying. The hustle and the other routes to get to Guyana is quite overwhelming, because waiting to board another flight [in the Caribbean] takes hours,” she lamented.

She had initially seen that advertisements for the direct flights from her granddaughter, but thought they were false, due to the assumed unlikelihood of direct flights.
“So since it is true,” she said, “this is an excellent initiative to have a British Airways flight directly to Guyana.”

For the first time in its history, Guyana will have a direct connection to Europe. Previously, travellers from the UK had to rely on connecting flights through Barbados or Trinidad and Tobago to get to Guyana.

The British Airways introduction into the Guyanese market is the culmination of an initiative which commenced with an engagement among President Irfaan Ali, Minister Walrond and British Airways officials in London, England earlier this year. (Story by Media and Communication Academy interns Kesi Henry, Mesha Sealey, Vivekanand Rajcoomar, Lorenda Cuffie and Shamiah Grant)

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