Worry for Guyanese as Delta flies out on May 6, 2013

Worry for Guyanese as Delta flies out on May 6, 2013


Almost five years after adding the Guyana/New York route to its flights, US-based Delta Airlines will leave Timehri for the last time tomorrow (May 6, 2013), putting pressure on the administration to now scramble to attract other operators.

With the folding of EZjet and RedJet last year, it will only be the Trinidad-owned Caribbean Airlines left. Suriname Airways has signaled intentions to start flights along that same route in July.


Delta touched down in Guyana for the first time in June 2008, conducting three to four flights weekly between JFK and Timehri. The number of flights during peak periods became daily.      

The New York/Guyana route has been a lucrative one for airlines with thousands of Guyanese living in especially the tri-State area. This was especially so for Caribbean Airlines.
The situation of one airline would worry both the government and the flying public who fear high fares will return again with only one player in the market.   

It will also put Government in a defensive position especially as Guyana has sealed the deal for a new US$150M CJIA expansion which is set to start by mid-year. This latest development would also add fuel to the opposition who cut funding for the expansion from the National Budget. The opposition has been questioning the feasibility of the expansion. Government, on the other hand, has defended the project saying it will open new markets to Asia and Africa, because of Guyana’s position at the northern tip of South America.

In February, Delta Airlines, in a surprise announcement, said it was pulling out of the Guyana and cited profitability. Government said it was puzzled as from all indications, the US airline seemed to be doing well. Indications are that it was commanding near full passenger loads, this year racking up its highest percentage…89 per cent, according to Transport Minister, Robeson Benn.
Government had denied reports that Delta was unhappy because Government businesses were taken away from the airline – businesses like diplomatic bags and mail.

There were also persistent rumors that Delta was unhappy that Government was planning to grant Caribbean Airlines flag-carrier status.
Government had also denied a report that the airline was pressured after baggage belonging to former President Bharrat Jagdeo was searched.

Works Minister Robeson Benn had provided figures of how well Delta was doing, moving from 36,695 passengers between June-December 2008 to 78,221 last year.

“The Guyana aviation sector and its passengers have benefitted from the Delta experience. The ongoing and intended improvements at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, especially the slated runway extension and new terminal building, allow us to hold the door open for Delta’s rethink of its options for its engagement in Guyana,” Benn had said during a press conference in February on Delta’s planned pullout.

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  • Malcolm  On May 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Not to worry at the rate the Guyana Government is selling out our resources to the Chinese we will soon have NO RAIN FOREST, NO GOLD nor Guyanese businesses.
    This Government does not have the skills required to deal with the Chinese and the Chinese are free to do what they want.
    However, we will have a CHINA AIRLINES bringing into the country planes filled with Chinese every day without visas and we will conduct business in the Chinese mandarin language.
    The country will change its name to CHINA-GUYANA and the Chinese will run the Government.
    Finally let me say that I am in favor with the development of Guyana but we must ensure that there are checks and balances in place and those breaking the law are punished.

  • Ron, Persaud  On May 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Here is another perspective:

  • Prince Ty  On May 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Here’s food for thought. Who really suffer when morons make decisions.
    We have great pride as Guyanese and there is nothing wrong with that. However, when the pride of a few hurt the country as a whole, there is definitely a reason to stand up and take heed.
    Big deal, the ex-Prez luggage got searched, or Caribbean Air got a Flagship status. At the end of the day we the people of Guyana are the ones that suffer. Look , if the government of Guyana starts looking-out for the people and not themselves , we as a country would grow stronger and then we can all raise our heads and be proud . This statement is not to PPP or PNC or the other 99 parties. It’s simply to the ones who can make a difference and chose to be selfish. Please start thinking about all Guyanese.

  • de castro  On May 7, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Interesting comment and download.
    If Air China wishes to enter the market to replace Delta so what !
    As long as “fares” are competitive to the end users. (Consumers)
    I once complained that I counted 26 different banks operating in
    Town in southern Spain’s high street….a distance of just under 1000m
    My son a financial consultant told me it should be more as it gives
    consumers greater choice.

    If British Airways Virgin AA AC or whoever wishes to fly to GT
    they should be encouraged to do so…with tax breaks if necessary..
    TAX breaks is a form of subsidy and can be used to entice the
    Goliaths or Davids to fly into GT….later this “subsidy” can be
    reduced/increased by the civil aviation authorities…government.
    Easyjet a UK newcomer to the travel industry is a very successful
    company that I regularly use in my European travels ….
    Yes I can fly between European cities for as little as 30euros one way
    bookable over internet….to “drive” London Paris Milan Berlin etc is absolutely unaffordable…even a ” train” journey is unaffordable…both in time and money.
    Every employee of easyjet ..is a shareholder…highly motivated staff
    not unlike virgin airways staff..
    another successful major player in air travel….

    My point is simple
    More competition means lower prices for the consumers..
    More customers means greater profitability for the providers of a service.
    Chinas economy was built on the “service sector” industry …
    Small to medium size businesses…so was Americas.
    No company or nation state is too big to fail….the biblical story of David V Goliath
    comes to mind….

    Why can’t GUYANAS or any other nation state do so ?

    My spin entirely
    Kamptan PS I did enjoy your sceptical comment above malcolm ..Guyana
    must remain aware of the threat of a Chinese invasion….but it is a risk one
    must take in today’s world.

    • Prince Ty  On May 8, 2013 at 12:12 am

      Ooooh! I was enjoying your post up until the end.
      People be afraid , be very afraid . A Chinese invasion,?!’ When your house is crowded and you have no space to go up, down , left , or right what do you do? Extend. Once you start to extend, will you ever go back to being chlostrophobic . My sad opinion is that our people will once again be slaves. The poor in Guyana stays poor and the rich gets richer. I’ve been in both positions in the last 15 years . This is why I feel comfortable saying this. This situation must be monitored .

  • de castro  On May 9, 2013 at 2:04 am

    Prince try
    My apologies for trying to be open minded in my comments…

    One must be prepared to make sacrifices so as to be objective…
    Allowing Chinese Indians Arabs Europeans etc to develop ones
    home does not give dem de right to occupy it.
    That right will always be a political decision
    not an economic one…
    It is the (contract of engagement) that matters …terms and conditions..
    which politicians should/would be held accountable for.

    Get it right and they keep their job
    Get it wrong and they loose it

    By democratic de-selection….ballot box!

    No job is for life in a democracy…unless you are King Queen or God.
    Guyana is a republic …democratic republic and it must remain so.
    History teaches fools so we must learn by not repeating the mistakes
    of the fools or foolish past.

    Let dem all come to develop Guyana but let the power of the people rule Guyana.
    Via democratically elected representatives of the people…parliament…
    UK history
    King Charles 1st said his power came from GOD
    Cromwell said his power came from the people

    Sadly the King lost his head literally (he was beheaded)
    Cromwell never regained his sanity after signing the Kings death warrant.


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