Cargo passing through CJIA increased by 84% – CJIA Chair

– says over 11 million kilos of cargo passed through CJIA compared to 6.1 million in 2015

In keeping with the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government’s ambitions to turn Guyana into a transshipment hub, cargo passing through Guyana has increased by dramatic proportions over the past few years.
During a sitting of the National Assembly called to pass, among other things, amendments to the Guyana Civil Aviation Act, Member of Parliament and Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) Chairman Sanjeev Datadin, revealed that there has been an 84 per cent increase in the shipment of cargo.

CJIA Chairman
Sanjeev Datadin

“Last year, we had a total of 729,450 people pass through the airport. As compared to 504,032 people in 2015. An increase of approximately 45 per cent. The increase in cargo is even more. We had, in 2015, 6.112 million kilograms of cargo,” Datadin said.
“This has increased by a phenomenal 84 per cent, to 11.726 million kilograms. We have had an increase in carriers. And we’ve had an increase in the number of flights. We know and it is now public knowledge, that British Airways is flying in Guyana.”
In addition to British Airways, which began its flights in Guyana back in 2023, the CJIA Chairman cited several other flights. In fact, he noted that these flights have astronomically increased Guyana’s air traffic.
“So, we have flights twice weekly to London. Recently, we have United Airlines doing three flights per week to Houston. This is in addition to us having Jet Blue, American Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, inter Caribbean Airlines, all using the airport.”
It was only in March that President Ali had said that Guyana is well positioned to be an important transshipment hub, not only in South America, but beyond. He had pointed out that with Guyana’s geographical location, the country remains the most financially viable route for Brazilian exports through the Panama Canal.
Also in March, President Ali had held bilateral discussions with his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the Arthur Chung Conference Center. Recognizing a timely opportunity to strengthen economic integration, the Governments of Guyana and Brazil had agreed to advance co-operation in infrastructural connectivity, private sector integration, and greater defense mechanisms.

One of the largest cargo aircraft at CJIA

“For Guyana and Brazil, there is an opportunity that can highly integrate our economies and create enormous opportunities for the people of our two countries. We discussed the connectivity of infrastructure not only through roads, ports and air transport but we discussed the connectivity of our people, the involvement of our private sector, and how we can get our private sectors more integrated,” the head of state had disclosed.
The two sides will work towards organising a mission from Guyana to Brazil in the second quarter of 2024, comprising officials of the government and the business sector, to expand trade and investment between the two countries.
Speaking on infrastructural linkages between both countries, President Ali informed that both countries will be working on the financial mechanism for projects that will further connect Guyana and Brazil.
One of the main infrastructural linkages to Brazil will be the Linden to Mabura Hill road, which will eventually reach to Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo). The US$190 million contract for the road was signed in May 2022 with Brazilian company Construtora Queiroz Galvao SA for the construction of the 121-kilometre road.
Then there is the regional ferry, another strategy aimed at boosting regional integration and the transshipment of cargo. In January of this year, it was reported that the Trinidad and Tobago Cabinet had approved the use of that country’s Galleons Passage vessel to operate the ferry service between the twin-island republic and Guyana.
In 2022, the Caribbean Community (Caricom) had approached the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for funding to establish this intra-regional ferry service. At the time, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) was tasked with ironing out a proposed roadmap study for a fast ferry service with an initial focus on trade between Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, and Barbados.
According to a communiqué at the end of the 43rd Regular Meeting of the Caricom Heads of Government, held in July 2022 in Suriname, it was noted that this initiative falls into the myriad of measures agreed to by the Region’s leaders to advance the reduction of the Caribbean’s food-import bill by 25 per cent by the year 2025.