British Airways begins flights to Guyana early next year
— tickets go on sale today
British Airways is slated to begin flights to Guyana in the first quarter of 2023. This was announced today by Public Works Minister Bishop Juan Edghill during a press conference.
Minister Edghill described the announcement as a proud and exciting day for Guyana and British relations.
“We are gathered today to announce the successful completion of negotiations and today 10 August tickets for Guyana and for London via British airways goes on sale. British Airways is the new carrier to enter the Guyana market,” he stated.
The minister added that “This service should begin flying and operating within the first quarter of 2023 and today’s announcement and start of selling tickets is to ensure adequate lead time and a proper roll out of this service.”
British Airways is the fourth airline to enter Guyana’s market since the PPP/C Government took office in August 2020. It will operate twice weekly with a capacity to carry 332 passengers using a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.
Minister Edghill said that prior to government taking office, there were only 260,434 airline seats available to Guyana. That figure has since increased by 140 per cent, taking the number of available seats to 627,318.
The public works minister further disclosed that at the end of July 22, 354,961 passengers transited and operated through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport compared to 183,063 for the corresponding period last year, representing a 94 per cent increase.
“With the arrival of British airways, the Ministry of Public works is very proud to announce that we will be able to add another 1,328 seats per week or 69,056 seats per year, that is what that announcement means today,” he noted.
Minister Edghill pointed out that said this is one of the reasons the PPP/C Government could not accept the Cheddi Jagan International Airport the way it was envisaged by the previous administration.
“With the extensions that we were able to get China Harbour to put in place at their cost which will accommodate the code D and code E type aircraft, we could now accommodate these huge wide body carriers bringing in 332 passengers on board at a time and that is a game changer in the Guyana market,” he noted.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar in brief remarks said the addition of the airline is long overdue.
“It is a testament of Guyana being that investment destination that everyone is pegged on coming and we have to provide the transportation for them to get there. It would make no sense if we have a fantastic investment destination with good opportunities and we don’t have the mode and the means of people to get here,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Oneidge Walrond said this development augurs well for the tourism industry. She explained that it also makes it easier for the over 30,000 Guyanese residing in the United Kingdom to return to their homeland.
“The investment we make in infrastructure is all tied into the vision of tourism and that the vision of tourism is for Guyana to become the premier tourist destination in the world,” she said.
British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller highlighted that Guyana is the UK’s leading trade partner in the Caribbean, noting that 20 per cent of all Caribbean trade is between the UK and Guyana. She believes that with the introduction of British airways, trade between the two countries will expand.
“I think it reflects a growing confidence globally in Guyana both in tourism and as an economic hub for the Latin America and the Caribbean. I think with the new confidence, people like British Airways coming in saying there are huge opportunity and I completely agree with Minister Walrond, this is the most amazing tourist destination and so many people don’t know about it,” the high commissioner posited.
Government has committed to continue its effort of getting more airlines to operate in Guyana’s market.