Virgin Atlantic downplays reports of exploring Guyana route
…after Govt Minister claimed he spoke with airline’s top officials
United Kingdom-based Virgin Atlantic Airways has downplayed reports that it is interested in operating in Guyana.
Guyana’s Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson, told reporters on August 16 that he recently spoke with top officials from the international airline about the possibility of coming to the country in 2020.
“They were on a Skype call to myself and Minister of Finance [Winston Jordan] on them coming here…This was the Director of the airline [with oversight for] routes. He’s going into a meeting and he would like to know what is Guyana’s position, saying he would like to put Guyana on their route for 2020,” Minister Patterson had revealed.
The news was widely publicised, even outside of Guyana.
However, online news entity Simple Flying later published an article “Virgin Atlantic denies Guyana flights rumour” – in which the company reportedly stated “There’s no truth in this, I’m afraid. We’re always reviewing our route network but we currently have no plans to launch flights to Guyana.”
Guyana Times reached out to Virgin Atlantic, whose representative said they do not have any confirmation of plans to launch in Guyana.
“Virgin Atlantic is constantly evaluating numerous new route opportunities but nothing has been confirmed for this. We do monitor any changes in the market place and will re-evaluate our studies when the need arises. However, new route plans remain confidential until we release news to the press,” the company stated.
When asked specifically about the talks between company officials and Government Ministers, Virgin Atlantic said: “We have no confirmation of this so we are not able to confirm if this is factual information”.
Several international airlines are reported to have expressed an interest in operating in Guyana, with the burgeoning oil and gas sector on the horizon.
The Public Infrastructure Minister had also disclosed that there are two other major international airlines looking to expand their routes to Guyana.
American carrier JetBlue had announced its intention to operate here, but Director General of the GCAA, Egbert Field said that nothing official is before him from that airline.
“[JetBlue is] supposed to submit their formal application to us and it has been some time now we’ve been waiting for that,” the GCAA Head posited.
Already, US carrier, American Airlines, which is already operating from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), is scheduled to expand its services here in December, with daily flights to New York City.