Caribbean Airlines begins Guyana/Cuba flights but airfares remain exorbitant
Written by IrieJam Radio on January 15, 2018
By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Caribbean Airlines (CAL) now flies twice weekly to Cuba from its Port of Spain (POS) hub on Tuesdays and Saturdays and these flights are linked to CAL’s network including Georgetown (GEO), Guyana, but a survey of the airfares that CAL is offering reveals that prices from GEO to Havana haven’t dropped since CAL entered the market. Fares remain at US$700 to $1,100 roundtrip between Cuba and Guyana.
Flight BW484 will depart Georgetown at 5:30 am and arrive in POS at 6:45 am, which will connect with BW476 at 8:30 am and arrive in Havana at 11:30 am. The return flight, BW477, will leave Havana at 12:30 pm and arrive at POS at 5:20 pm to connect to BW483 at 8:40 pm and arriving in GEO at 9:50 pm.
Paramaribo (PBM), Suriname, is also now connected to Havana twice weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays. From Paramaribo, the connection to Havana is smooth. BW884 will depart at 5:40 am from PBM and connect with BW476 at 8:30 am to Havana on Tuesdays and Saturdays. However, CAL doesn’t operate flights to Suriname on Tuesdays and Saturdays, so there are no direct return flights to Paramaribo. It will require an overnight in POS.
Currently, FlyAllways of Suriname has suspended its Paramaribo/Havana service again. However, COPA or Avianca are expected to enter the Suriname market soon and this should provide a reliable PBM/Havana link. In addition, Surinam Airways (SLM) is awaiting approval to begin Paramaribo/Havana flights.
COPA Airlines, which flies four days a week to Guyana via Panama City, has been transporting Cubans. Many are using this service. Round trip tickets to GEO from Havana via Panama City on COPA are about US$900. This is still very expensive.
Meanwhile, EasySky Airlines, a Honduras based carrier, has been offering charter services between Havana and Georgetown at competitive prices. Many Cubans are using this service but it is unreliable, and there have been questions about the company’s safety.
A startup airline, Guyana Airways 2018, which is waiting for Air Operator Certification (AOC) from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), has been granted approval to fly the Georgetown/Havana route. There are several conflicting reports that the company will secure two Boeing 737NGs, a 737-700 and a 737-800 to use on this route, in addition to New York, Miami, Toronto, Brazil, Barbados and Trinidad in the future.