Despite COVID-19, CJIA records 97% increase in passenger movement in 2021


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, passenger traffic at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) saw a 97 per cent increase last year, according to a report released by the Corporation.

In 2021, a total of 359, 350 passengers travelled through the country’s main port of entry, compared to 182, 736 in 2020.

Many of Guyana’s main ports were shut due to COVID-19 surges worldwide and the CJIA was only partially reopened back in October 2o20; this was to facilitate repatriation flights, specially organised flights, outgoing flights, medevac flights, technical stops, training and also establishing regulations and standard operating procedures.

But after being fully reopened last year, not only did passenger flow increase but cargo as well.

For 2021, the airport handled 9, 271,768 kilograms (kgs) of cargo compared to 7,657,259 kgs for the same period in 2020, representing a 21 per cent increase.

Additionally, a 36 per cent increase in cargo imports was recorded, due mainly to the importation of industrial supplies for the oil and gas industry. On the other hand, exports decreased by 16 per cent because of the decline in the shipment of agro-industrial supplies.

In terms of flights, the airport recorded a 93 per cent increase in international landings as of November with 2,762 compared to 1,427 in 2020.

However, a nine per cent decrease in domestic landings were recorded as of November as well, with 471 compared to 520 in 2020.

Currently, there are 59 scheduled passenger flights per week operating out of CJIA. American Airlines operates 14 flights to New York and Miami per week. JetBlue also operates seven weekly flights to New York while Suriname Airways has two flights per week.

Caribbean Airlines operates 24 flights per week to New York, Toronto, Miami and Trinidad.

Inter Caribbean Airways, the newcomer to the Guyana route, has 12 flights per week to Barbados.

And in total, the airport managed to rake in $2 billion in revenue as of November 2021 representing a 67 per cent increase compared to $1.2 billion in 2020.

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