Flag Carrier required for Category One status


By Jomo Paul

CJIA[www.inewsguyana.com] – While the new APNU+AFC administration is attempting to increase Guyana’s standing on International Aviation fronts, its efforts may be hampered by one thing – a national airline.

For Guyana or any country to be given Category One status, one of the prerequisites is for the company to have its own flag carrier. Category one would refer to the certification, ratings, privileges, and limitations of air transport and also refers to a broad classification of aircraft.

Guyana is currently at Category two according to the Federal Aviation Authority guidelines. Ministers of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and Annette Ferguson while emphasizing the need for Guyana to attain Category one status, noted that considerations for a national airline have not been given much thought.

“We were not able to reach Category One because we did not have our own National Air carrier. In order for us to gain full category one, we must have our own National air carrier…without us now having our air carrier we are still trying to see how best,” said Minister Ferguson.

It was noted too that one of the reasons for Guyana not having category one status is a lack of trained personnel in the aviation field; however the government is making ardent steps to fill vacant post in this area.

Patterson noted that the government is already in receipt of documents calling for the re-introduction of a flagship carrier.

“There would have been several submissions from companies and individuals about the reestablishment of a National airline…you know airline travel and the costs to maintain an airline is not cheap…it’s not a cheap issue,” said Patterson.

Combined in these efforts is the tabling of an Amended Civil Aviation Act, which according to Ferguson will give the Aviation Authority to legal groundings to conduct its work.

The Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament before the end of 2015. A recent poll conducted by iNews indicates that persons believe the government should pursue the option of a National Airline.

iNews asked: In light of poor service and high airline tickets cost, particular to North America, should the government pursue a national airline carrier? In response, 76.9% of respondents voted ‘yes’, while 20.6% voted ‘no’ and a mere 2.5% were undecided.

Guyana had its own airline in the 1970’s but it ceased just before the year 2000. During this period, Guyana Airways operated services to destinations throughout the Caribbean, the U.S. and Canada.

Guyanese rely on other air services such as Caribbean Airlines, Fly Jamaica, Dynamic Airways and others, which sometimes prove to be unreliable given a number of delays.



  1. The Govt of Guyana needs to stay away from running a Guyana flag carrier. If private Guyanese interests want to go in that direction all power to them. Guyana can make Caribbean Airlines its flag carrier in a context of setting clear expectations on what would be expected from Caribbean Airlines in terms of service levels to Guyana. Before Caribbean Airlines took over Air Jamaica, Barbados had used Air Jamaica as its flag carrier.

  2. So far as I know, ICAO/IASA Caregory One is a SAFETY rating awarded to a COUNTRY (not to an airport), and does not demand a national carrier as a pre-requisite.

    So far as I know, much of the requirements of Category One depend on the oversight and effectiveness of the country’s Civil Aviation Authority and the laws of the country as they pertain to the regulation of aviation.

    Barbados does not have Category One because their entire aviation environment is shabby, political, short-staffed and devoid of oversight and proper regulations. Barbados also does not have a Civil Aviation Authority, it has a Civil Aviation department under one of the Ministers of government – a proper CAA is required to be arms-length from politics.

    So come again on a need for a national carrier… because Category One is an irrelevant – and invalid – excuse and has no connection whatsoever with the need for a national carrier..

  3. As far as you are concerned the PNC, (which is just part of the coalition), not the PPPC is responsible for all of Guyana’s problems. One of these good days you will open your racist eyes and look at reality.

  4. Guyana must have it’s own national flag carrier. This is something PPPC failed to do thereby leaving Guyanese to the mercy of Trinidadians whom treat us all as mass criminals. But in order for Guyana to have it’s own carrier the installed PNC rulers must pay upfront to fly. No more I owe U like what the PNC large foreign ministry did with Guyana Air. PNC had the largest foreign ministry in the world where their member used to travel on Gy Air on I owe Us. It had no other choice to but to bankrupt.


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