Caribbean Airlines’ air fare hike “arbitrary”- Tourism Minister

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 21:01 by GxMedia

The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce on Wednesday opposed the “arbitrary” increases in airfare ticket prices by Caribbean Airlines (CAL), accusing the regional carrier of attempting to rake in profits from high demands in the Guyana markets.

Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce (ag) Irfaan Ali who lamented the airline’s high fares, made reference to the 50- minute flight to Trinidad and Tobago that costs US$425.

“We are well acquainted with the fact that the Trinidad market is not required to pay the increases demanded from the Guyanese market, and it has been proven that the Guyanese market is one of the strongest for Caribbean Airlines. In light of this, we believe that we should be treated as special customers; the least that we would want is to have equal and fair treatment on par with the Trinidad market,” Ali was quoted as saying by the Government Information Agency (GINA).

The regional carrier had promised to maintain a reasonable fare structure during talks with the Guyana Government after its competitors EZjet and Delta exited the market earlier this year.

According to Minister Ali, CAL’s position in the Guyana Market should have been looked at from a corporate responsibility perspective and not an opportunity at profit-making.

The Guyana Government is depending on air transport that is free of hindrances to travel to and from Guyana given the vibrancy in the tourism sector and a promising industry.

Meanwhile, initial approaches have already been made to reputable Asian, North and neighbouring South American airlines in the ongoing effort to broaden the range of commercial air services operating the Guyana route.

Among them is JetBlue Airways Corporation an American low-cost airline which is awaiting the completion of the airport runway extension.

Recently, Fly Jamaica was given the go-ahead to service the Guyana to North American route