With shortage of pilots, talks still ongoing for direct flights between Guyana/ Canada

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Though the industry is faced with challenges globally, Guyana continues to engage its Canadian counterparts here for direct flights between the two countries, President Dr Irfaan Ali has said.

And within the past few months, though not direct, Dr Ali said the government has received two proposals which are in the process of being finalized.

In April, the Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill said that Suriname’s Fly All Ways was approved to fly directly from Guyana to Canada and flights should have started already.

However, when approached on Friday for an update, Edghill told the News Room that discussions are in the final stages before the process commences.

As a matter of fact, Edghill said as recently as Thursday, some discussions were held with Fly All Ways and final approval was granted.

“It’s coming soon,” Edghill told the News Room.

Meanwhile, in his remarks at a reception on Thursday night to mark Canada Day, President Ali lamented that many major airlines across the world are faced with a shortage of assets and pilots.

“I want to say that indeed the High Commissioner and his staff are working overtime on this matter. They have helped us to present the case, and they have advanced the case but…many of the major airlines today are short on assets and the production line is nowhere near what the demand is in the industry today. And if that is not enough, for the first time in a very long time, the industry is facing a human resource challenge in the shortage of pilots,” President Ali said.

These issues are “immediate” ones that Dr Ali said must be addressed.

“….We look forward to having further cooperation and we are convinced that very soon we will have these issues sorted and completed,” the President noted.

The discussions for direct flights have been ongoing for a long time now.

In February 2022, Air Canada – the largest Canadian airline –met with President Ali and the subject ministers, signalling keen interest to enter Guyana’s market with the possibility of direct flights.

According to the Head of State, Guyana’s development trajectory requires the country to work with its international partners to achieve its objectives.

In this regard, he said Guyana looks forward to deepening its relationship with Canada across various sectors.

“Guyana and Canada have enjoyed excellent relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties…Guyana continues to value its partnership with Canada and looks forward to further deepening relations,” he said.

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