The rain poured when Curacao-based Airline, Insel Air touched down in Guyana last Wednesday evening, but that did not stop a grand welcome for the Dutch carrier which signaled the commencement of its service here in Guyana.
Just before midnight, the airline’s MD 80 jet landed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), from Aruba bringing with it 60 passengers. The airline’s Aruba Chief Executive Officer, Frederick Nuboer during a special ceremony told a gathering of media personnel and invited guests that the number of passengers entering the country on just the inaugural flight shows the need for connectivity.
On the early Thursday morning flight, 80 passengers departed, but Nuboer highlighted that it was already forecast that the flights would be filling up “very quickly.” The CEO expressed gratitude for the opportunity to operate in Guyana and added that new possibilities are being added for tourism and business in both Guyana and Aruba.
Captain Gerry Gouveia in his address to the gathering explained that it was recognized that persons from China and far reaching Eastern destinations were having difficulty accessing Guyana. However, through connecting destinations such as Holland and Aruba; and Insel Air, Guyana would be accessible.
He said a new connection is created, to Europe in particular where tourists there are more drawn to Eco- and adventure tourism which Guyana has to offer. Captain Gouveia’s local company, Roraima Airways, takes care of the airline’s ground handling. Flights will come to Guyana twice weekly; Wednesdays and Saturdays, and leave on the respective days that follow. They will go to Aruba, Miami, Venezuela among other locations.
Airport CEO Ramesh Ghir welcomed Insel Air and said that the airport is playing its part in the developmental plan for Guyana to be hub. He said in the past six months four airlines have arrived in the country while two more are expected in a few weeks.
The CEO said that discussions are ongoing with a European airline but currently, none of the company’s planes can land at the CJIA. He said that it is already a problem of capacity and with the other carriers coming on board, there is need for concern.
In recent months, Guyana has seen the return of TravelSpan, fresh wings; Fly Jamaica, and now Insel Air. With long-time operator Caribbean Airline still in the game, Panamanian-airline COPA and US-based Dynamic Airlines is yet to come.