CJIA records 100 per cent increase in air travel – CEO

Passengers passing through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport have doubled in 2021 when compared to 2020, the airport’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ramesh Ghir said Wednesday.

The airport saw increases despite the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, which almost crippled the travel industry last year.

“Based on the numbers we have had so far; we have had an increase in travel. This year we have done 326,000 passengers, which is 100 per cent increase over last year. I know last year we were closed, but we are at about 60 per cent of the traffic we did in 2019.”

CJIA’s Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Ghir

He said as the festive season rolls in, that number is expected to increase as more passengers will be passing through the airport.

“We have also had additional airlift with 93 per cent increase in aircraft movement, which is about 4,100 aircraft movement. Looking forward to the season, American Airlines, they have two daily flights, one to JFK, one to Miami. COPA has four flights weekly; JetBlue goes to New York and they have a daily flight. On December 17, we are going to have InterCaribbean Airways and they are bringing an additional 12 flights per week from Georgetown to Barbados, so that will help to bring capacity and Suriname Airways, they carry two flights per week,” the CEO explained.

However, the CEO said safety of passengers and employees remains a high priority. He said CJIA was accredited with a certificate of high standards in safety measures. The certificate he said was given over a year ago.

“We have applied for the renewal because you have to show evidence that you are sustaining and you are meeting the new requirements. We expect within the next few days to receive our renewed certification.”

“So, from the airport perspective in terms of our responsibility to the employees, the airport users, as well as the travelling public, we are maintaining and keeping those standards, which were outlined by the ICAO and IATA,” the CEO stated.

Some of the requirements for travelling to Guyana includes the submission of a negative molecular biological polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result recorded within 24-72 hours prior to arrival. Antibody tests, rapid test or antigen test will not be accepted.

Travellers are also required to wear a mask at all times during the arrival process up to and including departure from the airport.