File photo. Copa airlines may soon be flying to Guyana again.

Copa Airlines is starting up again with flights to two new destinations added to the schedule.

From its Hub of the Americas in Panama, Copa Airlines disrupted flights to more international destinations.  Now Georgetown, Guyana will be the first Copa destination in Guyana and Fort Lauderdale, fourth in the state of Florida, United States.

Pedro Heilbron, Executive Chairman of Copa Airlines explains that, “with the flight to Georgetown we hope to drive a lot of opportunities for Guyana’s business and tourism sector, which will be connected like never before with all of Latin America and the Caribbean; and with the Fort Lauderdale flight we will further expand the travel possibilities for business passengers, tourists and families to Panama and other destinations throughout Latin America.”

Copa will fly twice weekly to Georgetown and four times, to Fort Lauderdale.

In other airline news, the Guyana government and Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) are currently in discussions on the creation of more job opportunities for Guyanese with the airline as it seeks to tap into Guyana’s emerging oil and gas sector, Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill said yesterday.

The Trinidad-based airline is hoping to offer connecting flights from Cheddi Jagan International Airport to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, where ExxonMobil is headquartered. Connections will be facilitated via Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Edghill yesterday told Starbroek News that the government has met with the directors of CAL and requested that it place more emphasis on developing job opportunities here.

According to the minister, who has responsibility for the aviation sector, the government has asked CAL to provide opportunities for more Guyanese among its cabin crew, catering services and ground handling.

“This is a robust plan we are working on as we look at job creation. We are looking at every Guyanese must be a beneficiary from the oil and gas sector,” the minister stated.

Edghill further stated that no timeframe has been put in place but they are aiming to finalize an agreement soon and have the plan rolled out.

Caribbean Airlines has not made a determination on the projected startup date for the flights since Trinidad and Tobago’s borders remain closed. However, once approved such a development would see CAL providing direct competition to United Airlines on the Houston route.
Guyana’s international airports were slated to reopen for commercial flights yesterday.

However, there has been no indication from Caribbean Airlines, Copa Airlines or Suriname Airways on when they intend to resume operations. Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority Lt. Col. Egbert Field yesterday indicated that the authority is still waiting for the airlines to announce their plans to resume operations.