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Caribbean Airlines’ accorded flag carrier status for Guyana

Caribbean-Airlines-737-800Georgetown, May 9, 2013- Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon today announced that Guyana’s decision to afford Caribbean Airlines (CAL) flag carrier status will be communicated to the regulatory bodies in New York and Canada, thereby giving effect to the decision by the Government of Guyana.

Flag carrier status will see CAL providing direct flights between Georgetown and New York and Georgetown and Toronto. In December 2012, the government bestowed such a privilege on the airline following the launch of its inaugural non-stop flight from Guyana to Canada.

The investment being made seeks to ensure improvements in airline operations out of Guyana, and complements the anticipated CJIA expansion to the terminal and runway. While there have been ups and downs, CAL has always been a stable partner in ensuring Guyana maintains its links with the Diaspora in North America and Canada where many Guyanese reside.

During today’s post-Cabinet press briefing Dr. Luncheon was asked about the attraction of other airlines, and he explained that those efforts are on-going. “You must be aware of our successes although I must admit that they have not been as sustained as we would have liked them to be… but those efforts continue, but the most recent initiative in granting the flag carrier status, this was the one that the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) recommended and Cabinet endorsed,” he said.

Dr. Luncheon was also asked about the prospects of Fly Jamaica operating out of Guyana, and he noted that this has not yet been brought to the attention of the Cabinet and may be due to some regulatory procedures still to be completed.

He believes that a process is applicable when these entities seek government’s approval to operate in Guyana, and it is not instantaneous and there is no prescribed time from the date of application to when a decision is made.  Dr. Luncheon explained that interested persons have to apply and Cabinet being the final decision maker.

Further, the recommendation is almost always to go ahead and approve/ endorse the grant of the approval. If GCAA is not supportive it never comes to Cabinet.

When asked if that only applies to the international passenger carriers, Dr. Luncheon responded that it pertains to any aircraft operating in Guyana.

With regards to issues/concerns raised by the Aircraft Owners Association surrounding the recent crash of an aircraft into a Plaisance home, Dr. Luncheon indicated that the letter the Association sent to President Donald Ramotar may very well see an engagement between the two.