American Airlines begins Guyanese route, other companies eye start-up

A fleet of American Airlines planes on a tarmac.

American Airlines has officially begun its first-ever flights from New York to Georgetown in Guyana. The new nonstop flights will operate daily between New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport and Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

Guyana is the seat of CARICOM—the Caribbean Community’s union of trading partners—but the country itself has become more attractive as the certainty of a growing economy due to oil production comes near. In time, it is expected that Guyana, a nation of  778,000 people, will become a wealthy oil province. Oilfields discovered since 2015 are expected to generate annual revenue of US $15 billion, of which US $10 billion would be divided among oil companies and the government.

American Airlines is not the only company wanting to get in ahead of the game. Regional companies are also well aware of opportunities pending.

The JFK International Airport in New York, USA.

Several companies from Trinidad and Tobago arrived in the country in October during a conference put on by the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago. News bloggers note that what was supposed to be a Guyana Safety forum turned out to be a business expo for T&T business representatives.

Oil stakeholders represented included Exxon Mobil, Massy Gas Products (Guyana), Saipem, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Ministry of Social Protection. Writers note that the conference turned out to be an avenue for various Trinidadian companies to showcase the products and services they would like to provide. Kaieteur News reported that First Citizens’ Senior Account Manager, Nadine Paul, spoke at the conference about Guyana’s potential to become one of the highest reserve per capita economies in the world.

The Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana.

She took the opportunity to state that the discoveries represent an opportunity for, not just Guyana, but the entire Caribbean. She said First Citizens Bank is very pleased to offer its support, stating that the institution is committed to investing in bankable projects in the region. Also present were Caribbean Tower Cranes Limited, Caribbean Safety Products Limited, HHSL Safety Systems Limited and the Hummingbird Group, IWES Limited, and Oshes Limited. Kaieteur News said some of those companies have already set up shop in Guyana, and others have expressed the intention to do so in the very near future.

A drillship in the waters off the coast of Guyana.

As for American Airlines, it indicates that while much of the demand for its new non-stop flights will likely be filled in the shorter term by the Guyanese Diaspora living in the northeast, it’s also hoped that the flights will support the country’s growing tourism sector. The New York Launch for the airline this month comes a year after it launched its inaugural service from Miami to Georgetown.