GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Guyana has welcomed the arrival of the British Airways flight from London with government saying it underscores its aggressive policy-driven approach to development and heavy investments.
“Connecting the world to Guyana remains a priority of this government. We see Guyana as an active part of a global travel network, and we are continually engaging major airlines with a view to encouraging them to serve this destination.
“Our pursuit of airline connectivity is part of a wider strategic economic objective to make Guyana easily and affordably accessible to all business in all sectors, including the leisure and pleasure travel sector,” said Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Oneidge Walrond, adding that the introduction of the flights presents a myriad of opportunities for Guyana.
Public Works Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill, told the welcoming ceremony that “we are growing, and we will continue to grow. So, there are two things we’re doing. We’re expanding facilities at the airport, and we are growing routes”.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, said “Guyanese should be proud that what we have now is an environment that can bring more aircraft from different destinations.
“For an investment decision to fly the Guyana route, it took some amount of doing, some amount of calculation, and some amount of confidence in Guyana, and I am hoping that other airways follow suit as British Airways did to fly this route,” said Indar,
Among the passengers on the inaugural flight at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport,
were the United Kingdom’s Minister for the Caribbean and the Americas, David Rutley and St. Lucia’s Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information, Dr. Ernest Hilaire.
Hilaire said the return of British Airways to the Guyana – United Kingdom (UK) route is a win for Caribbean integration.
“We came to celebrate you receiving this flight… I cannot recall a direct flight from Guyana to St Lucia, so just like this is a milestone for you, the flight returning is a milestone of St Lucia,” Hilaire said as he pointed to the new possibilities for people-to-people and tourism exchanges.
The airline will service the route twice weekly with one stop in St Lucia.
Last last year, London announced that Guyanese nationals would be allowed visa free entry into the European country for up to 180 days.
Rutley said he would be using his visit here to “launch a new chamber of commerce as well which will then help to cement those relationships at the business level.”
UK High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller said the inaugural flight is not only the culmination of hard work at the business and diplomatic levels but also a personal win for so many people.
“It feels transformational. It’s a huge step for me both personally and professionally,” she said.
The new organization, BritCham Guyana says it will foster an open networking environment where companies can engage and discuss issues impacting their businesses and UK-Guyana trade.
“We would like to congratulate BritCham Guyana and we look forward to working with the team,” said Anne-Marie Martin, Director of Membership UK & International at the British Chambers of Commerce.
“BritCham Guyana offers an opportunity to bring together a rich and diverse network of UK investors, exports, and services with strong governance, world-class standards and experience that complement the ambitions of Guyana’s business community through long term and sustainable partnerships,” Miller added.