By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Venezuelan Airline, Conviasa which made its inaugural flight to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri, in November 2013 is expected to begin scheduled flights starting this month (February).
This is according to Head of the Guyana Civil Aviation Zulfikar Mohamed at a press conference on Friday (January 31). He explained that since November last year, the airline has been flying non – scheduled flights. The intention is for the airline to offer direct service from Puerto Ordaz to Georgetown, Guyana.
The GCAA Head also reminded that the Panama-based Copa Airlines is expected to commence their service to Guyana starting in July this year.
The Guyana route will begin operations with flights twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays, to Panama City, Panama, and passengers would have the leisure of booking connecting flights to a number of other destinations such as Montreal, Canada, Fort Lauderdale, Florida and New York.
Mohamed told reporters that the Authority and the Government is also in talks with other airlines to improve the availability of air services in Guyana, adding that the Government is in the process of closing a contract with Intel Air to begin flights in and out of Guyana shortly.
Over the last two years, the sector has seen the exit of both large and small airlines including Delta Airlines, Ezejet and Redjet among others. On the other hand, the sector has seen the entrance of several Airlines including Surinam Airways, Fly Jamaica and TravelSpan.
Mohamed stated too that the exited of Delta Airlines had contributed significantly to the decrease in passenger movement through the CJIA.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the CJIA also reported of a decrease of 12% in passenger arrivals for 2013. Immigration processed 235,967 passengers during 2013 when compared to 267,652 for the same period in 2012. Total passenger movement for 2013 amounted to 479,177 compared to 543,374 in 2012.
There was also an 18% decrease in international aircraft movement with 3,811 International Aircraft Movements being recorded as of December 2013 when compared to 4,640 for the same period in 2012.