GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The Guyana government has dismissed suggestions that the US-based airline, Delta Airlines was forced out of the country because former president Bharrat Jagdeo was subjected to baggage checks by the airline.
President Donald Ramotar said that no time did his administration moved to have Delta out of Guyana, but rather would like the airline to continue operating the Georgetown - New York route.
“Guyana is asking them to stay… we would very much like them to stay, because it’s a reputable airline. So it has nothing to do with us asking them to leave….that is not true, I could assure you that that has no basis,” Ramotar told reporters in Miami.
He has also dismissed claims that Delta was pulling out of Guyana, due to poor passenger response.
“The reason why Delta is pulling out cannot be because of the shortage of people travelling, because Delta had...from the time they started, they have been first in the 70s and over the last few years, they have been in the 80 per cent of being filled, so it’s a very good route.”
Ramotar said that he has not had an official position from Delta regarding its withdrawal from Guyana and suggested that there have been rumours that the airline may be cancelling its Georgetown-New York route because of prices offered by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines.
“However, those too he said are just rumours “floating around,” he said even as he acknowledged that Caribbean Airlines had been able to develop a good customer base among Guyanese travellers.
“Well you know Caribbean Airlines, of course. They have a long relationship with Guyana, They have been working there a long time, and recently when we had the folding-up of EZjet, Caribbean Airlines was very helpful in coming and taking up the slack, regarding the EZJet situation…so we have (a) good relationship with Caribbean Airlines as I said they have been working in Guyana for a number of years and we value that relationship.” President Ramotar said.
Over the weekend, Public Works Minister Robeson Benn, using statistics debunked Delta’s excuse that the route’s profitability was the main reason for the pull out.
The statistics show that since its inaugural flight in June 2008, Delta Airlines has benefitted from the support of the travelling public to the extent that it enjoyed the highest payload for all airlines operating at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) at Timehri.
Benn said that a careful examination of the numbers will reveal that Delta was experiencing passenger growth despite competition from low cost carriers RedJet and EZjet.