Govt plans to re-enter domestic aviation market

Last Updated on Friday, 3 March 2023, 16:35 by Denis Chabrol

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday announced that the Guyana government planned to offer cargo flights to a number of far-flung interior regions where the cost of freight would be ordinarily expensive.

“The aircraft we are looking for are to allow us to better serve the hinterland community including if the freight costs are too high for goods and services to many of these remote areas which pushes up  the cost of living, to use those to ferry freight from the City into those remote communities at a rate that is lower than some of the exorbitant rates charged by some private operators.

Several years ago, privately-owned domestic airlines had cried out for unfair competition when the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) had hired its helicopter for interior transport.

Mr Jagdeo said  a number of the India-made aircraft that are being used by that Asian nation’s military are suited for that purpose. He said Guyana sought to acquire planes that are similar to the now obsolete Skyvan. “We have not purchased anything as yet. We are looking at the specifications, the pricing and, of course, assessing these in relation to other offers that we have on the table,” he said.

Mr Jagdeo noted that the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has settled “definitively”  that Guyana would not lose its International Civil Aviation Organisation rating if it grants Type Certification to the India-made planes. In making the announcement, he sought to assure that the aircraft that Guyana plans to buy from India would not be military grade planes to fight with its neighbours.

The now folded state-owned Guyana Airways Corporation (GAC) had up to the 1990s served several interior destinations with a fleet of small aircraft such as the Twin Otter.