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[Guyana] BK launches JAGS Aviation

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[Guyana] BK launches JAGS Aviation

Unread post by bimjim » Tue Aug 26, 2014

http://www.guyanatimesgy.com/2014/08/26 ... s-aviation

[Guyana] BK launches JAGS Aviation
– pledges commitment to foster tourism in Guyana
Vahnu Manikchand
August 26, 2014

The BK International Group of Companies officially launched its JAGS Aviation airline on Monday afternoon at the Ogle International Airport (OIA), promising to help promote tourism.

At a simple ceremony at the Wings Aviation Hangar, the airline was launched before a host of dignitaries. The airline will be providing domestic services to interior locations with a brand new aircraft recently added to its fleet. The Cessna Grand Caravan 208B EX, valued some US$3 million, has a seating capacity of 13, excluding the pilot. It is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and is fully air conditioned.

The BK Group is no stranger to the transportation sector with a history in the minibus and marine sub-sectors. However, its entry into the aviation industry is the vision of the younger Tiwari generation, who will be leading the airline.

One of the Directors, Briony Tiwari, told the gathering that they saw the potential of Guyana’s tourism product and wanted to invest; hence, the acquisition of JAGS Aviation. She disclosed that the BK Group had acquired JAGS three months ago and began immediately investing in the company with a fleet expansion programme. This, according to the Director, saw staff receiving training overseas and the recruitment of new personnel. Tiwari pointed out that the new Cessna Grand Caravan is outfitted to provide the highest standard of comfort for passengers. The Director assured that her company will be continuing its efforts to improve the aviation sector by investing in new aircraft and higher standards of operations and customer care.

In addition, she pledged her commitment to investing in promoting the country’s tourism sector. “You will also see substantial investment in the promotion of Guyana as a destination for international and domestic tourism… we want to encourage everyone in the tourism and transportation sectors to work together to quickly bring Guyana’s tourism infrastructure to the place where we are hosting a substantial amount of tourists each year,” she stated.

The young airline director noted that they are currently using the facility of Wings Aviation; however, they are currently engaged in negotiations for land to build a new hangar.

In delivering his feature address, President Donald Ramotar pointed out that for too long Guyana has been the best kept secret, but it is now putting its tourism products out there. He highlighted the importance of air transportation for the various sectors, particularly mining.

“Air transport is vital to the development of Guyana, we talk a lot about the opening of the interior and part of the opening of the interior must be linked to the air transport sector of the country, because we still have many areas that are not accessible by road or not accessible by waterways… therefore, the general development of many sectors of our economy is directly linked to the air transport sector,” he pointed out. According to the President, milestones such as this are possible after Government would have invested in the sector. On this note, he mentioned the importance of proper facilities referencing the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) Expansion Project.

Meanwhile, acting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali also spoke about the gains the tourism sector has made over the years. He noted that Government has made provisions for any company that invests in the aviation sector, in order to boost tourism transportation within and outside of Guyana.

Ali pointed out that Government has placed much effort into marketing the country’s tourism product to reach its target group. He spoke about all the documentaries that were made and those that are in the pipeline, stating that all of these are promoting what the country has to offer.

“…it is very important for us to have brand named hotels like the Marriott in Guyana, because it helps us in the marketing drive, it brings a different dimension to the marketing aspect of tourism. Similarly is the investment in the airport, we cannot market a product if we do not have the proper facilities and this is why the investment in the airport is so important,” Ali added.

Also delivering remarks at the event was Transport Minister Robeson Benn. He too referred to the work Government has done to expand the aviation sector and will continue to do to improve the navigation systems at both the OIA and CIJA.

“The BK Group of Companies has had a sterling record in Guyana with respect to civil construction in our infrastructure development. It has been a solid and reliable partner… and particularly now, we note with pleasure that the BK Group of Companies is taking wings, is taken flight with respect to their continued partnership in their work together with the Government and the people of Guyana in developing our country,” the Minister said.

Benn went on to express his disappointment over the fact that for a critical project such as the CJIA expansion, persons are making objections when it can only boost the tourism sector further.
In addition, Chairman of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Hugh Denbow; overseas-based Guyanese broadcaster Bobby Vieira, and former President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Clinton Urling, also made remarks at the launching of the airline.

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