Government confirms Caribbean Airlines flag carrier status – video

Guyana Government confirms Caribbean Airlines flag carrier status – 9th May 2013

At a time when Caribbean Airlines  is  reportedly facing what amounts to more than $TT500 million in debt, the Guyana Government has confirmed that it has granted the airline flag carrier status. The announcement came just three days after U.S. carrier Delta Airlines ended its service to Guyana. The move by Delta has left Caribbean […]

Also read the Kaieteur News report:                  

Govt. reaffirms flag carrier status for CAL MAY 10, 2013 | BY  |

– Move cements direct flights on North American routes

Two days after US-based Delta Airlines pulled out, Government yesterday reaffirmed that it has granted Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) flag carrier status.
The first announcement was made last December.
Yesterday Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon said that the recommendation was made by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority.
The administration, late last year, announced it was moving to have the Trinidad & Tobago-owned airline accorded the status which essentially allows it to fly international routes allowed to Guyana.
A government statement on December 7, headlined “Guyana accords flag carrier status to Caribbean Airlines”, said that based “on instructions from President Donald Ramotar and the Cabinet, Minister of Transport and Hydraulics, Robeson Benn accorded flag carrier status to Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL).”

Government has reaffirmed that it has granted Caribbean Airlines flag carrier status.

“I’ve been instructed by the President to accord to Caribbean Airlines flag carrier status for all areas flying out of Guyana; this will give Caribbean Airlines the opportunity to use Guyana as a base and to make more efficient their logistics with respect to their operations and to make that more efficient and economical; and we want to see success in their operations,” Benn said
The proclamation was made when the airline launched its inaugural non-stop flight from Guyana to Canada in December.
Two months later, during a press conference in February at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) to speak on Delta’s announced pullout, Minister Benn stated that CAL was “not granted flag carrier status as yet”.
Disclosing the CAL decision yesterday, Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon, while not addressing the timing, said the move by government will allow the Trinidad airline to fly directly between New York and Georgetown and the Toronto, Canada route.
Guyana’s decision regarding CAL will now be communicated to aviation authorities in the US and Canada, the official said in his weekly press conference at the Office of the President yesterday.
On Monday, after almost five years flying the critical New York/Georgetown route, Delta pulled out of Guyana citing a lack of profit. The decision to end its flights in early May was announced by that airline in February.
Guyana is badly in need of airlines to fly especially the New York and Toronto routes with large portions of the Diaspora residing in those North American cities and the continent as a whole.
However, over the years, passengers have been plagued by high fares as one after another, the airlines and charters folded. Even Guyana’s national airline, Guyana Airways went under. Last year, low cost charters, Redjet and EZjet, both fell from the skies also from financial problems leaving passengers stranded.
CAL has been around for years now and was at one time known as BWIA or “BeeWee”.
Government would be hoping that the decision to grant CAL the facility will help allay fears over airfares, especially with the presence of only one airline in Guyana. It would also hope CAL introduces more flights.
Suriname Airways is planning to start New York flights from Guyana by mid-year.
Another airline, Fly Jamaica, a company part owned by Guyanese pilot Ronald Reece, has also applied to government to fly the route.
Yesterday, Luncheon said that applications for permission to fly are not “instantaneous” and there is no “prescribed time” for approvals.
In the case of Fly Jamaica, the regulatory body, Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), is in all likelihood still processing the application as these have not been brought to Cabinet of Ministers for approval.
The government spokesman made it clear that the Cabinet is the ultimate authority in granting permission to airlines and once GCAA makes a recommendation, it is likely to be approved by government.
Government has also signaled intentions to be careful in its checks over new airlines, ensuring that there is a mandatory cash deposit to cover refunds in the case of problems.
Luncheon also made it clear that the demands are consistent with what is required for applications…be it local and foreign operators.

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  • Cyril Balkaran  On May 13, 2013 at 12:02 am

    If the Air Transport position in Guyana is to be improved then we must invite other International Airlines to enter the Market of some 800,000 people. The routes that these airlines would like to fly are all profitable routes and so we should do some early groundwork and have things off the ground sooner. We understand also that Suriname Airways is in the line up to do the Guyana North American routes and also that a Jamaican Entrepreneur is also making his applications known to the Authorities in Guyana. This is the situation that is needed for evaluation in Guyana as we await more jet services for our population.

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