The United Kingdom flag carrier, British Airways will commence direct flights to and from Guyana, starting March 2023 with tickets going on sale from today. These flights will be twice every week from London with one stop in poop St Lucia.
Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill during a press conference on Wednesday said this is an exciting time for Guyana and the United Kingdom.
The BA will be using a Boeing 777 200ER aircraft with a capacity of transporting 332 a is to ensure adequate and a proper roll out of this service in Guyana.
“That puts into perspective exactly why we did not accept the CJIA the way it was being envisaged and constructed when we came into government, because equipment, the triple 7 200 ER would not have been able to operate out of CJIA because the boarding bridges would have not been able to accommodate that. With the extensions we were able to get China Harbour….we could now accommodate these huge white board carriers.”
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond said this means a lot for the tourism industry in Guyana, as the diaspora bemoaned the unavailability of direct flights to Guyana from London.
According to Walrond, this is a ‘huge hurdle’ removed not only for Guyana but also for the Caribbean region. Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to Guyana Jane Miller said this reflects a growing confidence in Guyana’s aviation sector, which will play a major role in terms of trade.
In terms of travel to Guyana over the last two years, Minister Edghill said there is a 95% increase in the numbers of passengers who transited through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
As of July 22 2022, 354, 961 passengers transited through the CJIA compared to 183, 063 for the corresponding period of last year.
Arrivals reflected a 97% increase while departures recorded a 91% increase.
“We are currently 95% of our pre pandemic traffic which was measured in 2019 before we had to go into the lockdowns in 2020. So right now air traffic and travels in and out of Guyana are getting back almost to the pre pandemic levels and we have seen significant increases over last year.”
The seating capacity has also increased in the past two years.