Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Irfaan Ali is urging businesses and other stakeholders to petition the US Department of Transportation to allow Fly Jamaica to operate direct flights between Guyana and New York.
“We believe that there must be fair and open competition and if the fact remains that there is no American Carrier in the market then we view this as a regressive step. The decision to deny the application for direct flights is one that does not fit into our business interest and it is something that I think we have to fight and respond to as a country,” he said, in a statement issued on Wednesday, according to the Government Information Agency (GINA).
The decision not to operate direct flights between the said locations will rack up operational costs and ultimately, airline tickets. Ali said that government has been working hard to build and maintain capacity in the air transport sector and “we acknowledge that Fly Jamaica’s operations in Guyana will aid in significantly boosting the capacity in the local air transportation sector; we know too that a significant per cent of the Guyanese Diaspora live in or near New York and this decision has also left Guyanese without a direct flight option to New York.”
On September 30, the US Transportation Department rejected Fly Jamaica’s application seeking permission to have direct flights between Guyana and New York. This means that passengers using this service will have to in transit in Jamaica before heading to New York. The airline has since petitioned the Department to reverse its decision.