As it Prepares to Launch its New York-Georgetown Route
By MOHAMED A. HASSIM
NEW YORK — As it prepares to launch its service from New York to Georgetown, American Airlines recently hosted a “Get to Know Guyana Day” at the Terminal 8 Conference Center, JFK Airport.
The airline’s New York-Georgetown service takes off on December 18.
“When we wanted to do something special for the Georgetown route, our employees came together and planned this event,” David Lombard, American Airlines Manager of Alliances at JFK, told a packed conference room on Wednesday October 16. He thanked customer service manager, Vanita Jagnarain, and the Caribbean Resource Business Group, for taking the lead in putting together the event.
“We wanted to know about the food, the culture, recreational activities, and the people of Guyana, so that when we start the service we could interact with the people to make their experience on American Airlines very special,” Lombard said, adding, “On behalf of the 10,000 employees in the NY area, we are excited to welcome you to Georgetown.”
The event featured music, dances and powerpoint presentations, highlighting the history, culture and attractions that Guyana offer. A travel agency tour of the American Airlines facility at JFK was part of the event.
Mike McKanna, Managing Director for American Airlines, JFK, also thanked the organizers of the event and those who attended, noting, “We are really excited about flying this route.”
He explained that the the Airline will be flying the route once a day, departing New York at 5:40 pm and arriving in Guyana “just after midnight”. “The airplane will turn around and come right back to New York and we’ll have our Guyanese customers in New York at roughly 6 am,” he added.
Salvador and Andrea de Caires, of Wilderness Explorers, took the gathering through a captivating presentation, delving into the beauty of Guyana’s hinterlands.
The feature presentation was delivered by Guyana’s Consul General to New York, Barbara Atherly, who, in addition to giving a synopsis of Guyana’s history and culture, also shed some light on the services of the consulate in New York.
She touched briefly on the traditional services offered by consulate and updated the audience on some of recent developments. Those include home or hospital visits to Guyanese who are confined to their homes or hospitals so they can have their documents stamped and notarized by the consulate in order to receive their benefits from Guyana.
“We also do outreach programs where we take our services beyond the walls of the consulate to different areas (in the tri-state area),” she stated. “We have also introduced ‘Consulate Saturday’ and this is to cater for persons who cannot come to the counsulate during the working week. We are now open on the third Saturday in every quarter to cater for such persons.”
Among the other recent developments at the consulate, she noted is “a customer relations management system, which has a database now for all transactions in the office.”
Atherly said, “We have recently introduced a system whereby persons can check the status of their various applications by using their receipt number. We also encourage Guyanese to register — through our website — their businesses, associations, ngos etc. We have our newsletter and most recently we have set up a facebook page, and we urge you to visit our facebook page and like our page.”
American Airlines spokesman, Justin Franco, thanked all for attending and noted that he looks forward to seeing everyone at the launch of the service on December 18.
Among the special guests at the event was Guyanese-born, New York State Senator, Roxanne J. Persaud.
The celebration was emceed by Claire Patterson-Monah of the Guyana Cultural Association (GCA).
More scenes from the event:
Mohamed A. Hassim