THE Government of Guyana is engaging a number of airlines to provide direct flights from Guyana to Canada, Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill said.
In February of this year, President, Dr. Irfaan Ali; Tourism, Commerce and Industry Minister, Oneidge Walrond and Minister Edghill had engaged representatives from Air Canada, one of the largest airline providers in the country.
“We are talking with many airlines; Air Canada just happens to be one. President Ali has been clear to us that we need to do everything to ensure that we have direct flights to Guyana- Canada, and that is something we are pursuing whether it comes out as Air Canada, West Jet or maybe a local carrier that somebody develops or somebody else comes into the market. We are talking, we are negotiating, we are engaging,” Edghill told a recent media conference.
Air Canada is the flag carrier and the largest airline of Canada by fleet size and passengers. The airline provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 207 destinations worldwide.
Edghill noted that an aviation team from the Public Works Ministry is scheduled to attend the upcoming routes conference in Las Vegas, US, where discussions will be held with other airline service providers desirous of entering the Guyanese market.
Edghill said that, since the government assumed office in 2020, four new airline carriers entered the Guyanese market, with British Airways being the most recent to join, with scheduled flights set to commence as early as March 2023.
Meanwhile, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) is aligning expansion with the country’s development and additional works are being undertaken at the airport.
“We have just opened bids for a new admin building that will be across the road from the airport. What we are seeking to do is move all the administrative offices from the airport into a new building so those spaces could be used for other commercial activities.”
Those works, he said, will see the airport being expanded to create greater capacity for transit passengers.
“During the in-transit period to get connecting flight they [passengers] must be able to get a good restaurant, a nice hot meal; they must be able to get facilities; their children must get a play area. So, we are putting in all those other amenities.”
He added that a new building will also be erected to accommodate airline offices.
“We are putting in a new building to accommodate offices for the airlines and bonds for concessions. With more airlines you have to have office space for the airlines to operate and you also have to put in facilities for the concession.”
Those works, he said, are expected to be completed within the next 18 months.