Regional air carrier Liat yesterday announced a cargo service between Georgetown and all the airline’s destinations.
“Our pricing is flexible. We are not trying to make super profits,” said Liat Cargo director Wilbur Edwards during a media briefing with Agriculture Minister, Robert Persaud. He declined to get into specifics on shipping costs and said that these would depend on the destination. The service is about assisting the region and farmers and exporters in particular, and improving trade in the spirit of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, he said. The CARICOM Secretariat is supportive of the initiative, he added.
Liat’s launched its dedicated all-freighter cargo service last February and Edwards said that they have since shipped over three quarter of a million pounds. Getting Guyana on board is very important to the airline’s overall objectives, he said. LIAT has converted one of its Dash-8 100 aircraft to full cargo configuration, with 7,500 pounds capacity, providing regional manufacturers, farmers and exporters with a much needed air bridge to meet demands for their produce in the various islands.
Edwards said that the service is available in all territories where the airline operates. He said that they look at the demand in the network on a daily basis and adjust the schedule accordingly. Charters are also available.
Persaud, in his remarks, noted that there is great demand for agricultural produce but a “constant constraint” has been the issue of logistics: reliable as well as adequate space and affordable pricing. With Liat’s service, he said, produce can be taken to a number of destinations in the Eastern Caribbean and even beyond. They are examining how agro-exporters can tap into this and also how the New Guyana Marketing Corporation can work to make Guyanese products known and gain markets in other countries.
“Every air cargo service for us is welcome,” said Persaud. He pointed out that just about two weeks ago, Caribbean Airlines advised of its’ freighter service between Georgetown and Miami and they are waiting on word for a similar service between Georgetown and New York.
Persaud said that they are trying to ascertain what are some of the agricultural product needs of some of the destinations that have not been traditionally tapped due to logistical difficulties. He urged exporters to take advantage of the new service.