JetBlue Airways has delayed its inaugural flight to Guyana as the country responds to the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen it close its international airports.
The flight, originally scheduled for April 2, was to have introduced the airlines New York, USA route to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana.
However, the company has put those plans on ice until October this year, according to information provided by Guyana’s Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson during a COVID-19 national update.
The news comes at a time when Guyana confirmed its fifth case of the novel coronavirus in the country yesterday, March 18 and following its announcement that both major airports would be closed for 14 days effective midnight, yesterday in effort to curb the spread of the virus.
Exceptions for the travel restriction are in place for cargo flights, planes needing to make technical stops and special authorised flights will be landed. Local air travel will also be permitted.
JetBlue’s decision comes as other airlines have implemented changes to their flight schedules to protect the interest of their passengers and crew. American Airlines recently withdrew its flights to several destinations, including Guyana, until May 6.
Regional airlines LIAT and Caribbean Airlines have also made adjustments to their flights in adjustments to various restrictions that have been put in place by governments.
Guyana recorded its first death related to COVID-19 last week when a 52-year-old woman passed away from the virus.
In response to the growing threat, the government yesterday introduced sweeping preventative measures to assist with containing the coronavirus.
These steps include closing all schools, including the University of Guyana; putting public servants on a shift system, banning self-quarantine and implementation of four quarantine sites.