Airline Startup Of The Week: Guyana’s Air Demerara

Last week we learned about a new airline coming to the South American nation of Guyana. The name of the airline will be Air Demerara but aside from a logo and vague destinations, we don’t have too many solid details for the new startup. The airline plans to operate in 2021 out of two of Guyana’s international airports.

Airline Startup Of The Week: Guyana’s Air Demerara
No details have been given with regards to aircraft numbers or type. One report mentions Airbus but does not specify model. Photo: Aeroprints.com via Wikimedia Commons

What we know so far

According to the airline’s website (which currently does poorly with SEO), operations will begin in 2021. The airline will operate out of two airports: Eugene F. Correia International Airport amd Cheddi Jagan International Airport, formerly known as Timehri International Airport. Cheddi Jagan has the title of Guyana’s national airport.

The airline’s website also states that it will offer direct, non-stop service to North America, The Caribbean, and Brazil. However, no specific cities have yet to appear.

While the airline does not specify what type of aircraft it will fly, it does say that they will be fuel-efficient aircraft with ‘state-of-the-art technology’. It also mentions a partnership with Airbus:

“Air Demerara is partnering with Airbus to give current and future generations in Guyana and surrounding nations the ability to gain the knowledge necessary for success in the aviation industry by creating a flight training and engineering academy.”

Corporate social responsibility

Air Demerara has many lofty claims on its website with regards to corporate social responsibility. In fact, it says that it is partnering with the Government of Guyana and the Ministry of Forestry to dedicate a percentage ticket sales to Guyana’s forest conservation efforts.

Furthermore, the airline says it will be actively sponsoring and supporting events, individuals, and small companies within the country that “hold the same desire to better our communities”.

Finally, Air Demerara says that it will recruit local Guyanese to “give the best service imaginable with the highest pay scale, and best job environment possible”. There will also be a profit sharing program in place for employees.

Positive response on social media

There has been some fairly positive response on the airline’s Facebook page.

Several commenters, almost certainly Guyanese, have commented on the high cost of airfare in the region. Here are some sample comments:

“Do something for us guyanese….fr Trinidad to Guyana…CARRIBBEAN AIRLINES too expensive.”

“Long overdue. Badly needed especially with the horrific prices that LIAT AND CARIBBEAN AIRLINES charge.”

“Please connect us to Brazil…I am sick of years of flying those tiny planes, expensive, scary and the companies (Transguyana and Air Services) weigh even your soul.”

Airline Startup Of The Week: Guyana’s Air Demerara
A Grand Caravan C208B aircraft belonging to Trans Guyana Airways. The airline is the only commercial operator in the country but will soon be joined by Air Demerara. Photo: David Stanley via Wikimedia Commons

Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Airlines features most prominently as an airline disliked by those commenting on the Facebook page. As for other airlines based in Guyana, there is only one: Transguyana. This small airline only operates a handful of tiny turboprop aircraft.

Conclusion

If the airline’s information is accurate, then we would assess that it will use aircraft from the A320 family. However, with the lengthy backlog at Airbus for these narrowbody jets, it’s highly likely that the airline will be leasing instead. Alternatively, it could buy used aircraft, but then its claims of fuel-efficiency and use of state-of-the-art technology would be in question.

JetBlue at Washington Reagan
JetBlue will launch service to Guyana in April. Photo: Getty Images

With a claim of a US$500 million investment in its operations, the airline’s fleet and CSR claims are slightly worrisome. Combining this with claims of offering “the highest quality” and we worry about how sustainable and profitable this airline will be.

Despite all of the above worries, we wish Air Demerara all the best as they spend the rest of this year preparing to launch operations in 2021!

Given the turbulent nature of the aviation sector, will this airline find success in its early years? Let us know in the comments.

Simple Flying made attempts to contact Air Demerara for additional information – primarily with regards to fleet composition. We’ve also contacted Airbus for any information they may have on a training partnership with the airline. However, no response has been received at the time of publishing this article. We’ll update this post if any new information is received.

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