The country of Guyana has set the stage for it to become a powerhouse in the oil and gas industry and as such as caught the eye of many international carriers keen to operate services to the small South American nation. Qatar Airways recently signed a deal with the Guyana government to offer its own routes to the countries airports, but how will this impact the country and the greater region going forward?
What are the details?
Guyana is a unique country. Located on the north coast of the South American continent, it is, in fact, the only English speaking nation in the region (the nearest English neighbor being Belize to the north in Central America, not including other English Caribbean islands). It has a small population of only around 800,000 citizens, but it has vast oil and gas resources found along its coastline.
With fellow regional oil player Venezuela still under pressure from western nations, the scene is set for Guyana to exploit its resources on the international stage. And for it to be an international player, it needs the attention of worldwide international carriers.
Qatar has become the first to sign a deal with the nation, with Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Chairman Abdulla bin Nasser Turki Al Subaey and Director General of GCAA Egbert Field putting together a deal for the Middle Eastern carrier to operate as many passenger and cargo flights as it likes.
This will be the third South America destination for Qatar, following Brazil’s Sao Paulo and Argentinians Buenos Aries.
“We are extremely excited about this partnership with Qatar and know that it can benefit both destinations equally across many sectors related and reliant on the aviation industry,” said Lt. Col. (Ret’d) Egbert Field in the press release.
How will this impact the region?
Qatar is now joined by other carriers including JetBlue, American Airlines, KLM and the nation’s own Tran Guyana Airways in operating international services to the country. So far, Qatar is the only carrier authorized to operate flights from Guyana to the Middle East.
This new link is a great boon for passengers wishing to head to Asia, or to destinations in Africa too. The central hub of Qatar opens up massive connectivity opportunities for the citizens of Guyana.
Likewise, this new route will open the country up for more tourism from other regions (such as Australia) who may have considered it before. The fact that they speak English and are relatively free of unrest makes it an ideal holiday destination.
“This is a welcomed relationship, which has the potential to improve international connectivity and boost the tourism sector as well,” said Brian T. Mullis, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority in a press release. “
With the recent international recognition Guyana has received, increased airlift from American Airlines and JetBlue, and improved connectivity to Europe through KLM and Trans Guyana Airways, we welcome the delegation from Qatar and hope to see continued growth in the options available for travelers to visit Guyana.”
Additionally, if Guyana does become a powerhouse in the oil and gas industry, the synergy between them and fellow oil nation Qatar cannot be ignored. Having a direct link between the two countries (and ideally cutting out other local rivals such as the UAE or Saudi Arabia) will help develop stronger industry ties.
What about fifth freedom flights?
But the deal gets better. According to NationNews.com, the agreement allows Qatar to base itself in the region and operate fifth freedom routes to any other country in the region. As in, using George Town as the hub of a new South American route network.
“In the coming months, a delegation from Qatar will be visiting Guyana to explore business opportunities in the aviation sector to establish a presence in Guyana and to strengthen the Caribbean and Latin America network.” – Guyana Press Release
Overall we love to see new (and somewhat crazy routes) being forged around the world, and look forward to flying on this route ourselves.
What do you think of this news? Let us know in the comments.