Delta still to make exit official

- says flights from May not confirmed

Delta Airlines yesterday stopped short of confirming that it is pulling its services from Guyana, saying only that flights from May of this year are not confirmed.

“Delta Airlines has not made an official announcement with regard to the Guyana/JFK route… we have not confirmed any flights as of May of 2013,” Sara Lora,  Manager of Communications for Latin America and the Caribbean yesterday told Stabroek News
.
A United States-based customer representative had told Stabroek News on Sunday that “As of right now, we are pulling our service from Georgetown, Guyana.”

The disclosure came after customers attempting to book flights on Delta for later this year encountered problems having their bookings taken.

Minister of Transport Robeson Benn’s terse remarks when contacted about the situation yesterday were “No update.”

On Sunday, Minister of Tourism Irfaan Ali had told Stabroek News that government was not officially notified. “We have not been officially notified… we are arranging a high-level meeting with Delta to discuss this and to work out a way forward,” Ali had said.

Questioned if the airline’s officials and Guyana’s government were in discussion about the move, Lora said that she could not reply. “I can’t comment because we haven’t made an official statement,” she explained. She said that as soon as there was a definitive decision, she would make contact with Stabroek News.

Ali had explained that government’s present focus is getting enough flights to accommodate persons wanting to travel to Guyana as at last year there was a reduced capacity of 28%, with REDjet and EZjet leaving.

Efforts to contact him yesterday proved futile.

Stabroek News visited the Delta Airlines’ Head Office in Carmichael Street yesterday and the local General Manager, when asked about business during the day, stated that it was normal and that persons came in to confirm and check on their current flights. While Stabroek News sat in wait, a customer questioned the reason for Delta’s decision to pullout and was told that a reason had not yet been given.

Two customers who had earlier visited the office told this newspaper that the decision did not impact them “one way or the other,” since their tickets were purchased at a New York Travel Agency for later in the year.

“The Delta service isn’t impressive anyway. We were just wondering what would happen to our money,” one of the women said.

A representative of the airline informed that persons who had bookings would be given full refunds.

Delta has been running direct flights from Guyana to New York Since 2008. The same service is now also being offered by Caribbean Airlines, which was granted Flag Carrier Status in November last year.

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