Valentine gift for Prime Minister Gonsalves

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KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Jan 20, CMC – The Guyana-based Roraima Airways says that it hopes to give Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves a Valentine’s Day gift of a planeload of Cuban shoppers when the multi-million dollar  Argyle International Airport begins operating on February 14.
The company is looking at expanding its operations across the Caribbean and will also transit its flights out of New York in St. Vincent and the Grenadines before going on to Guyana.
The flights out of New York are operated by Dynamic Airways, an American company that operates seven Boeing 767s, aircraft that carry 250 people each.
Roraima Airways chief executive officer, Gerald Gouveia, speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for Black Sands Resort, said “we are thinking and looking at it, where our 767s, a lot of flights connect through Trinidad and Barbados into Guyana …
“We are looking to link St. Vincent and Guyana like they have never been linked before. We are going to links the flights out of New York here in St. Vincent and onto Guyana,” he said at the ceremony for the project which si being undertaken by the Canadian-based company, PACE Developments.
Gouveia and his wife, who is also a pilot, own the 25-year-old Roraima Airways. The company has a fleet of three Britten-Norman Islander twin-engine aircraft that can seat nine passengers each and two BN Trislander triple engine aircraft that can seat 16 passengers each.
Gouveia said that in addition to Dynamic Airways, his company partners with Insel Air, an airline out of Curacao that connects 20 destinations across the Caribbean.
But four months ago, Roraima teamed up with EasySky, a Honduran airline. “and this has been the most exciting one for us, of course, because what has happened, it is connecting us with Cuba.”
He said the airline does daily flights that bring 1,000 Cubans to Guyana each week “and this is very interesting to you and is interesting to many, many Guyanese as they walk through their commercial districts in the city of Georgetown, it is laden with Cubans shopping. So this is shopping tourism…”
Gouveia said that the Cubans are small business people who travel to Panama, Guyana and the different countries in the Caribbean shopping and returning to Havana to sell the products.
“And it is amazing. Each one of them is spending two to three thousand US dollars when they arrive on the soil. And if you understand there are a thousand of them arriving in Guyana, and it has been getting bigger and bigger, and there are 10 million people in Cuba.”
He said he will be looking at the commercial districts in St. Vincent “to look at the possibility of your cost of merchandise and then we will bring some of the Cuban travel agents and we hope to be able to do this in time so on the 14th of February, I could give the prime minister a Valentine’s gift.
“And so, we can have our red and white 767 parked on this runway on Valentine’s Day. So I am giving him that for his Valentine’s gift, but he is taking me away from my wife. So I hope my wife will come with me for that day.”
He said airports open up a country “and St. Vincent has actually been very isolated, if you understand that. Even for me for me to get here was like pulling a teeth. It was terrible last night.”
Gouveia said he was supportive of the tourism project n the Central Leeward district where the Canadian company, is building the resort and villas in Mt Wynne-Peter’s Hope
He said an estimated US$600 billion is being spent on tourism across the world, adding “tourism is the highest employer of human beings.
“To get Chinese investors today is easy, to get investors maybe from the Middle East, but to get investors from Canada is like gem. Canadians are very conservative with their money and when they do a project, they do it well, and I want to say you guys are very fortunate to have this Canadian company here in St. Vincent,” Gouveia told the ceremony.

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