American Airlines, one of the largest airlines in the world, on Wednesday evening launched direct flights from New York to Guyana.
The first flight from the JFK airport is due to arrive just after midnight at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timheri.
The new service comes as data released by the Guyana Tourism Authority shows that in October, arrivals from the United States totalled 7, 549, an increase of 13.43 per cent over last year.
“One of the difficult things they faced in the past has been not very many flights going to Guyana.
“We were lucky they started daily flights from Miami and now from JFK. This is so good for tourism, Jane Behrend, who represents the Guyana Tourism Authority in the USA told the News Room.
She was among those joining airline staff, passengers and dignitaries for an official ceremony at the JFK airport Wednesday night. The event features a cultural programme and guests were treated to Guyanese snacks.
“This makes sense,” said Justin Franco, who works with American Airlines’ Global Communications.
“We’re really excited about this,” he said, noting the American Airlines saw this as an “opportunity” given the growth in its service to Guyana.
The airline began service from Guyana to Miami just over a year ago, starting with flights four times a week, but this quickly grew to a daily service.
“Guyana is poised for greatness,” said Barbara Atherly, Guyana’s Consul General in New York. She said the direct flights offer greater opportunities for those looking to visit Guyana for business or tourism.
It was back in April that American Airlines announced that it will begin daily direct flights from New York’s JFK airport to Guyana from December 18.
“This route will be an important addition for our customers with cultural, business, or economic ties between Guyana and New York, and we look forward to offering Guyanese visitors air service to the Big Apple,” said Vasu Raja, Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning for American Airlines.
“We are pleased to increase service and connect businesses, residents and tourists to Georgetown from New York'” said Jim Carter, Managing Director of Eastern Sales for American.
The new service from JFK will be operated daily on a Boeing 737-800 with 160 seats, including 16 seats in First Class, the Airline said in a statement. The aircraft also features access to power at every seat and more entertainment options, including free live TV and the ability to stream Apple Music while on board.
The daily flights are scheduled to leave JFK at 6 p.m. and arrive at GEO at 12:40 a.m. the following day. The return flight will leave GEO at 1:35 a.m. and arrive at JFK at 6:29 a.m.