American Airlines ends Caribbean JFK–Guyana monopoly with competitive fares

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – One World Alliance member, American Airlines (AA), ended Caribbean Airlines (CAL)’s monopoly on the New York City JFK/Georgetown, Guyana (GEO) route when tickets went on sale on Monday at competitive and cheaper fares than what CAL has been offering Guyanese citizens.

Average return tickets on the route is about US$500 for the non-peak season, and peak season, like Xmas, started at US$ 576-850 roundtrip.

The airline is also connecting Toronto (YYZ) to Georgetown via this new JFK route and which is very convenient because transit passengers from Canada clear US customs and immigration in Canada before arriving in the US. And for the busy Christmas season between YYZ and Georgetown via New York – JFK starts at US$750. Also, between major European cities and GEO fares have dropped because of the vast AA, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair global network.   

For decades CAL had a monopoly on the JFK/GEO route. The airline kept prices up and increased it recently to offset the Port of Spain/Tobago air bridge that has financially hemorrhaged the airline because a round trip on that route is US$59.

The airline also dropped some of its routes to Jamaica due to financial loses and continued to squeeze Guyanese travellers to make up for the loses. Now a round -trip ticket between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago is roughly US$400.

CAL’s nonstop flights between JFK and GEO is over US$850 for a return ticket. Peak season it’s much higher.

After a successful start of the four weekly Miami/GEO route, AA will increase that to daily and ply a larger aircraft, replacing the Airbus a319 with the Boeing 737-800.

The success of the MIA/GEO route led to the quick decision to fly from JFK to Georgetown daily and using the Boeing 737-800s which feature 160 seats in economy. The first-class cabin will feature 16 recliner seats.

“American is the only US carrier that flies to Georgetown,” said Vasu Raja, vice president of network and schedule planning for American. “This route will be important for customers in New York with cultural, business, or economic interest in the market and we look forward to welcoming Guyanese visitors to the Big Apple.”

AA2896 will depart daily from JFK at 6 pm and arrive at 12:40 am in Georgetown. The return flight will depart for New York at 1:35 am and arrive at 6:29 am. This schedule is very convenient for business travellers.

Like CAL, passengers will have to pay for their luggage. The first suitcase is US$30 each way and the second US$40.

Business travellers to Guyana have more than tripled since the country discovered about 5 billion barrels of oil and gas. Just a few weeks ago, Exxon-Mobil made its 13th oil discovery off the Guyana coast. It is this increase in business travellers that brings revenue to airlines. The Guyana/Suriname basin potentially holds an estimated 13.6 billion barrels of oil and 32 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

JetBlue also plans to fly the JFK/GEO route in December or early 2020.

There has been some improvement at the Cheddi Jagan Airport in Guyana such as a larger terminal with four passenger boarding bridges, a new arrival hall and an extended runway.

Cheddi Jagan International Airport – Guyana

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  • Clyde Duncan  On May 15, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    American Airlines Pilots Confronted Boeing About Safety Issues Before Ethiopia Boeing 737 Max Crash

    Mahita Gajanan | TIME

    The American Airlines pilots union confronted Boeing over possible safety issues in the 737 Max prior to the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash in March, audio recordings from a November 2018 closed-door meeting between the pilots and Boeing executives reveal.

    The airline’s pilots union urged Boeing officials to make a fix to the planes during a Nov. 27 meeting at the union’s headquarters, less than a month after a 737 Max 8 crashed off the coast of Indonesia, according to recordings obtained by the Dallas Morning News, the New York Times and CBS News.

    Both crashes are believed to have been caused by a malfunctioning sensor that sent faulty data to the planes’ anti-stall systems, forcing them to go down. Boeing planes worldwide have been grounded following the deadly incidents. The company is currently in the process of updating its planes’ anti-stall system, known as MCAS.

    But at the time of the meeting on Nov. 27, Boeing executives at the meeting resisted the pilots’ calls for urgent action, according to the recordings. Mike Sinnett, a Boeing vice president, said during the meeting that it was unclear whether the malfunctioning anti-stall system was the sole cause of the Lion Air crash off Indonesia, in which 189 people were killed, the New York Times reports.

    The software fixes had not gone through by the time a second 737 Max crashed in Ethiopia in March, killing all 157 people on board.

    The Allied Pilots Association, the union representing the American Airlines pilots, recorded the meeting and made the audio public.

    “American Airlines pilots have been pressing Boeing for answers because we owe it to our passengers and the 346 people who lost their lives to do everything we can to prevent another tragedy,” union president Captain Daniel F. Carey said in a statement provided to TIME. “Boeing did not treat the 737 Max 8 situation like the emergency it was, and that’s why we took swift legal action demanding years of records related to the model and are working with lawmakers in Washington to ensure proper oversight of Boeing, the FAA, Airbus, American Airlines and all carriers.”

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