Aiming to be a major transport hub in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region, Guyana has entered into an Air Services Agreement with the world’s largest oil producer, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Guyana’s Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, signed the pact in the Saudi capital Riyadh with his counterpart, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, the Kingdom’s Minister of Transport and Logistic Services.
While the agreement is generalised to promote and facilitate the expansion of international air services opportunities between the two countries, Minister Edghill made it pellucid that his hope is for Saudia, the Kingdom’s national airline and the third largest airline in the Middle East, to establish Guyana as its foothold in the LAC region.
The Guyana government’s information arm quoted Minister Edghill as saying that “presently, there is no direct flight between Guyana and Saudi Arabia. However, this Agreement puts in place the legal framework [for] open market access for airlines to operate and enhance competitive air transport services, trade, and economic growth between the two countries.”
Government said the Agreement addressed matters pertaining to Grant of Rights; Designation and Revocation; User Charges; Recognition of Certificates and Licences; Tariffs; Commercial Opportunities; Fair Competition, Environmental Protection, among other matters.
The Kingdom invited Guyana to sign the agreement during its participation in the Future Aviation Forum which is currently being held in Riyadh, during the period May 9-11.
Guyana expects that carriers from Saudi Arabia, as well as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates which it has also signed Air Services Agreements with, will establish their presence in Guyana, given the pivotal role they play in global connectivity.
Guyana has signed more than 50 Air Services Agreements with other members States of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).