Wednesday, February 15, 2012

REDjet looking to expand routes from Guyana

REDjet is examining adding new routes out of Guyana, company CEO Ian Burns says, but he is warning that protectionism in the region can hurt travellers and restrict them to high fares.

Burns was in Guyana on Monday to speak with stakeholders in the travel and tourism sectors and he met with acting Minister of Tourism Irfaan Ali to discuss possible joint initiatives between the government and REDjet. “What they are looking to do is to have a ‘Return to Guyana’ campaign, because many people from Guyana are living overseas and they want to come home. We are happy to be a part of that,” he said after the meeting.

REDjet, nine months after starting operations, currently operates flights between Guy-ana and Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua. “We have seen REDjet introduce over 200,000 seats into Guyana and that is a significant increase in the traffic that is coming into Guyana. So that’s driving very good numbers,” he said.

Burns noted that from his meeting with the Guyana Tourism Authority, he learnt that there has been an over 16 percent increase in the number of arrivals into George-town for January, which he noted is described as one of the worst months of the year. “Clearly, REDjet has had a significant impact on travel for Guyana and particularly the people of Guyana, whether they live here or they live abroad,” he said. “Guy-ana faced what a lot of markets faced in the region–a lack of airlift and far too high prices.

So REDjet came in with a promise that we would reduce the cost of travel by up to 60 percent and we have delivered on that promise and the Guyanese have responded extremely well to REDjet, as a result. We all know that they want to travel and we know the reason why they have not been travelling as much as they would have liked to. So, the economic and social benefits that REDjet has brought to the market in Guyana have been significant and we will continue to do so,” he said.

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