United Air­lines for talks with gov’t

Stabroek News - - FRONT PAGE -

With one ma­jor United States car­rier al­ready ply­ing routes here, the Guyana Gov­ern­ment is up­beat that an­other may fly here as United Air­lines will soon be meet­ing with of­fi­cials to dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of en­ter­ing this mar­ket.

Amer­i­can Air­lines made its in­au­gu­ral flight to Guyana on Novem­ber 15th last. The air­line is now of­fer­ing four flights per week from Ge­orge­town to Mi­ami and will sub­se­quently add more flights to its sched­ule.

Min­is­ter within the Min­istry of Pub­lic In­fra­struc­ture An­nette Fer­gu­son yes­ter­day told Stabroek News that of­fi­cials from United Air­lines will be meet­ing with Guyana Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity of­fi­cials soon. From those talks, Fer­gu­son says that gov­ern­ment hopes that the air­line will pro­pose to fly here and be­lieves that 2019 would be a good year for that to hap­pen.

“Ob­vi­ously we here in Guyana would want any ad­di­tional air­line com­ing to our shores. With more air­lines com­ing on stream, it is a pos­i­tive for Guyana be­cause I guess what will also hap­pen is we have more sta­ble travel costs,” she said.

“Per­sons would now have a pref­er­ence to travel with Amer­i­can Air­lines, United Air­lines, Caribbean Air­lines, COPA…all that we have ex­ist­ing in the mar­ket. I am re­ally re­ally happy that other air­lines have been sig­nalling their in­ten­tions of com­ing to op­er­ate in Guyana. 2018 is com­ing to an end, so the prospects look good for 2019 hope­fully of United com­ing,“she added.

Dur­ing a re­cent in­ter­view, United States Am­bas­sador Perry Hol­loway, told the me­dia that while he could not say if other US air­lines are go­ing to come to Guyana, he knows that of­fi­cials from United Air­lines are sched­uled for talks.

“United [Air­lines] is in­ter­ested in com­ing to talk. Don’t put that United is com­ing next week be­cause they are not. But it makes sense be­cause the cap­i­tal of the oil in­dus­try is in Hous­ton, Texas and one of United’s hubs is Hous­ton, Texas. I would ex­pect that one of the air­lines that would be most in­ter­ested is United Air­lines. I don’t know a lot about the other air­lines. I don’t have much to say about those guys I don’t know if they are good or bad,” Hol­loway said.

“Not only does it pro­mote greater com­merce but it pro­motes greater peo­ple to peo­ple in­ter­ac­tion, whether that is ed­u­ca­tion, cul­ture or busi­ness. I have to tell you when I got here three years ago, one of things that stood out is, that a for­eigner likes least about Guyana is how hard it is to get here and how hard it is to get back home. It is a chal­lenge. It has got­ten bet­ter in three years I think, with Amer­i­can Air­lines, for the Amer­i­cans. It has got­ten dra­mat­i­cally bet­ter,” he posited.

But with most Guyanese liv­ing in the United States Tri State Area of New York, New Jer­sey and Con­necti­cut, he be­lieves that a di­rect Ge­orge­town to New York flight is needed. “I think the thing that is miss­ing some­how, how you get it I don’t know, but ob­vi­ously…some­how we need to get an­other flight to New York. That is what I think needs to be done. But how you do that I don’t know,” he said.

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