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THE SKY’S THE LIMIT Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Captain Gerry Gouveia, CEO of Roraima Airways, about sustainable practices, medevac flights, and showcasing the beauty of Guyana. 1992, when Roraima Airways began, was a time of transition for Guyana. “Free market systems had just started to be introduced into the country,” says Captain Gerry Gouveia, CEO of Roraima Airways. “Our economy depended on products – gold, diamonds, and bauxite – and we didn’t have much of a service industry at the time. I had spent fifteen years in the army as a pilot, and in that time I’d learned a lot about Guyana’s hinterland. So I started Roraima Airways with my wife Debbie, who is also a pilot, to cater to the needs of tourists and 52 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

investors. To start with, we didn’t have any planes, so we used to rent them, and we only had four employees. It was a gamble on the future of the country.” The gamble paid off. Today, Roraima Airways employs two hundred people, and in addition to owning their own planes, the company has two hotels and an eco-adventure resort in the rainforest. “We’ve developed a synergy of travel and tourism services,” says Captain Gouveia. Now, a traveler can fly from New York to Guyana with one of Roraima’s international partners, get picked

up at the airport by a Roraima chauffeur, eat and drink at a Roraima hotel in Georgetown, catch a Roraima flight to an investment site or the Kaieteur Falls, and then take a Roraima boat to the Roraima resort. “And then when they’re leaving Guyana, they’re at our check-in counter at the airport, and they can wait for their flight in our executive lounge,” says Captain Gouveia. LOW CARBON “Guyana has a national development strategy which is called the Low Carbon Devel-

Sustainable Business Magazine 04/16  

Sustainable Business Magazine

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