Guyana has welcomed the inaugural American Airlines flight to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country on Thursday night saying its geographical location presents a unique opportunity to potentially become a hub between South America and the rest of the world.
The airline is offering four flights weekly from Miami and Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge, speaking at a ceremony to welcome the first flight, said the occasion is symbolic of the integration of Guyanese and American economies through the vital service of air transport.
He said the agreement with American Airlines marks a positive step towards the development of air services in Guyana, and will generate trade, promote tourism and create employment opportunities.
“As Guyana embarks on a new development trajectory, we have placed emphasis on improving our air and land connectivity.
“Our geographical location presents us with a unique opportunity to potentially become a hub between South America and the rest of the world. In recognition of this and the increasing number of visitors to Guyana, we embarked on the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion,” Greenidge told the ceremony.
Public Infrastructure Minister, with responsibility for Aviation, Annette Ferguson, in welcoming American Airlines to the Guyana market, said that with Guyana’s largest diaspora community residing in the United States, the new flights could prove to be advantageous to Guyanese.
“American Airlines entering the Guyana market is timely as we prepare to host the first ever International Civil Aviation Conference (ICAO). Participants of this conference will have the option of experiencing the quality service American Airlines is world renowned for.
“ Also, with four weekly return flights between Georgetown and Miami, Guyanese now have more travel options to get to the destinations in North America and beyond,” Ferguson said.
Managing Director of International Government Affairs, at American Airlines, Robert Wirick said Guyanese will be connected to approximately 150 destinations in and out of the US.
He said that the long-term plan is to increase the destinations as well as the number of flights per week. “This is the 19thdestination in South America for American Airlines we are the only US carrier offering services to and from the country. From Miami we are able to connect your country to more than 100 destinations in the US,” Wirick said.
Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, (GCAA) Retired Lieutenant Colonel, Egbert Field and United States Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway both welcomed the airline to the Guyana market stating their expectations for great returns for both the US and Guyana.