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SkyService begins serving Guyana/Canada route

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2009
by bimjim ... ada-route/

SkyService begins serving Guyana/Canada route
By Stabroek staff
December 10, 2009

At the recent official launching and commissioning of SkyService Airways to Guyana at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, it was disclosed that SkyService Airlines of Toronto will be the only direct flight coming out of Toronto every Tuesday.

The new 757 SkyService Airline which is administered by Ram Tiwari has the capacity to transport 215 passengers.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Manniram Prashad said that “For a very long time we have been trying to get regular service from Toronto to Guyana.”

The minister noted that SkyService will operate in Guyana as a charter with Titan Tours during the peak seasons, which are Christmas and Easter and during the August holidays, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

This is indeed an achievement to be proud of since the present global financial recession has been affecting tourism and despite that investors in Guyana are showing they have confidence in the industry, he stated.

“This is a reflection that tourism is developing in Guyana otherwise they won’t have been investing in Guyana,” Prashad said.

He stressed that if persons don’t travel to Guyana it will affect the country’s arrival figures. He said that during the peak seasons persons are sometimes left back in Toronto due to the unavailability of flights.

The minister observed that Caribbean Airlines sometimes is forced to run two to three flights per day and lauded Sky Service for its timely commitment.

Tiwari noted that the initiative came at a time when Guyana’s tourism potential is vastly improving, making the country more economically viable. He also acknowledged their confidence in the country’s leadership, GINA added.

Re: SkyService begins serving Guyana/Canada route

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009
by bimjim ... to-canada/

Travel agencies were sceptical about new direct flight to Canada
By Stabroek staff
December 29, 2009

The cancellation of Sky Service’s year round service may have little effect since many travel agents were sceptical about placing bookings with the chartered service airline based on past experiences.

Last week, Stabroek News was informed of the cancellation of the year round service by Captain Gerry Gouveia, proprietor of Roraima Airways, who controlled ground handling operations for the service.

Sky Service’s weekly direct flight to Toronto was announced at the start of the month but last week reports surfaced indicating that the terms of the Travel Industry Act had been violated and as a result there was a voluntarily termination of registration.

Yesterday Gouveia confirmed that a flight will arrive today and will leave for Canada with passengers already booked.

This newspaper made contact with several travel agents, many of whom did not have any bookings for the airline. One that confirmed a booking said there were no cancellation of bookings and there were no other issues.

A representative from Muneshwer’s Travel Agency told Stabroek News that he had not heard anything of any cancellation or issues and further stated that if that were the position, the company’s office would have been flooded with passengers. “We have had no one complaining so far,” he added.

Meanwhile, a Jim Bacchus Travel Agency representative explained that because of what has happened in the past with charter services, the company has not been inclined to “rush them just like that.” She stated that in such instances the company would give the service a chance to get acclimatised. “We did not want to just plug into them like that. We would have waited until next year when they would be on firmer standing,” she added.

Jim Bacchus accepted no bookings for Sky Service. Somwaru’s Travel Service Limited also had no bookings for the new provider. Worldwide Travel Agency also reported some scepticism but noted too that since Sky Service announced its charter pretty late there was not enough time for them to get any booking or get on board with it. The representative observed that the agency would usually look at the performance of the charter before putting passengers on it.

Gouveia last week could not provide any explanation to this newspaper with regard to what were the issues with Ram Tiwari’s licence. Tiwari is the owner of Sunrise International and reports had said that Sunrise had violated the terms of the Travel Industry Act and following a meeting had voluntarily terminated its registration.

Asked for a reason he stated that there are some issues in relation to Tiwari’s licence and the few flights that will actually come in will not be handled by him. He could not provide any further details and Tiwari’s office could not be reached for comment. It is unclear how many passengers have been affected.

A source with the company had told Stabroek Business that a direct flight between Georgetown and Toronto was very much sought after and Sky Service was optimistic that the service would increase both business and leisure travel between Guyana and Canada. The most recent direct service — Zoom — had closed its operations last year.