GCAA seeking direct flights to Africa to boost tourism

first_img…whether feasible or not – DirectorThe Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is now seeking to partner with African states to have direct flights traverse the countries in a bid to boost tourism.This was on Wednesday disclosed by Air Transport Management Director, Saheed Sulaman on the sidelines of an event held at the GCAA’s head office on High Street, Georgetown.Director of Marketing and Operations Support, Franklin Vieira and Director of Air Transport Management, Saheed Sulaman addressing media operatives“We are always looking to develop relationships with all ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) member states. It’s the only way we can connect to those states and it’s the only way our airlines can get connected to those states so I’d say yes we are looking to develop relationships with those countries and not only those countries in Africa but in Asia, in Europe, we are looking to develop relationships with those countries as well,” he said.According to him, a few African airlines have since expressed interest in the market.Asked if he believes the market will be a feasible one, the Director noted that although there might not be enough traffic to operate “you got to start somewhere.”“The Government doesn’t really access feasibility, the investors do that and the mere fact that we have had interest from two African airlines it means that they are seeing something feasible to engage the GCAA,” he added.It was explained by him that the present flight system in Guyana allows for a person to fly to Africa, only after arriving in Europe or the United States.Sulaman pointed to the fact that the flights will be beneficial in promoting tourism in Guyana, especially at a time where tourism month is currently being observed.One of the airlines, which is a Nigerian one he said, is a key player in Africa and is even the largest nation in the continent. “To have interest from that nation is a great great step forward,” he expressed.It was clarified that although Guyana is seeking to have direct flights to Africa, the option of having small stops in between have not been wiped off the table.“We are awaiting final confirmation from the Government of Tanzania and the Government of Ghana on their availability to sign an air services agreement…we’ve already done our work and we are awaiting their confirmation.”He outlined that those agreements will be important to allow for smooth operations between the countries while explaining, “The air services agreement, they are generally template version, pretty much the standard agreement for all countries. What is critical in an air services agreement are the rights that are granted both agreements that we have negotiated they are what you call liberal or open skies agreement that will allow for any amount of airlines from Guyana or Tanzania to operate between the routes of Georgetown and Tanzania…and Ghana it’s the same principle”.According to him, “while we may not have something right now, should an airline of Tanzania or Ghana decide we want to fly to Georgetown that instrument is already in place to facilitate that operation”.last_img

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