Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, People & Places, Travel » P.G.I.A. Reopens with Singular American Airlines Flight
Oct 1, 2020

P.G.I.A. Reopens with Singular American Airlines Flight

American Airlines touched down at the Philip Goldson International Airport today marking the reopening of international flights to Belize six months after suspension.  There was a buzz of activity at the P.G.I.A. including cultural presentations to welcome arriving passengers.  Belizeans, as well as visitors, disembarked the American Eagle flight that came from Miami, Florida.  A number of protocols, seven steps in all, are in place to put a lid on the spread of the coronavirus.  Those passengers that presented a negative test on arrival took about fifteen minutes to clear customs and immigration and the health clinics. In contrast, those who did not present test results took more than an hour on the first day of reopening. Here is News Five’s Isani Cayetano with a report.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

American Airlines Flight 4656 from Miami touched down at the Philip Goldson International Airport shortly after eleven o’clock this morning.  Its manifest indicated that seventy-seven passengers were set to disembark on Belizean soil, the first commercial arrival since the P.G.I.A. was closed to such traffic on March twenty-third.  With everything in place to ensure that visitors, as well as citizens are adequately protected from the transmission of COVID-19, Belize welcomed its residents and guests with open arms.


Ken Goulet

Ken Goulet, American Visitor

“We’re coming here for holiday and just to have fun.  We’ve been waiting and looking forward to this, so opening up October first, we thought we’d come here on the first day.”


Joining Ken Goulet from other parts of the United States were dozens of other travelers, including some who have visited the Jewel in pre-COVID times to purchase property.


Gib Werby

Gib Werby, American Visitor

“I’ve been here many times.  The first year was in 2000 and I traveled around for a month backpacking and then over the years I’ve come probably once every two years for a couple months.  I have a property in Cayo and this trip, the purpose is to purchase a piece of property also in Cayo.”


Isani Cayetano

“What made you decide to get on the first flight back to Belize, notwithstanding the circumstances that we’re facing with COVID?”


Gib Werby

“I got tired of reading what was happening and what wasn’t happening and getting misinformation so I figured I’d come to find out for myself, firsthand and it was a very simple process.”


…trouble-free for persons who opted to take a rapid test seventy-two hours prior to departure from the U.S.  For those who had to be tested upon arrival, the process for clearance was rather time-consuming.


Gib Werby

“I took my test yesterday in the U.S.A. and got the rapid results because they require a seventy-two hour negative result to enter Belize.  So it was easy for me because I got to the green line which means you just go through because you showed a negative result.  I can’t speak for the people that haven’t taken the test yet that are getting tested in there.  It seems to be a longer process if you don’t do that before you leave.”


The reopening of the country’s only international, civil airfield after a previously deferred date which was set for August fifteenth, comes after a massive undertaking by government to certify tourism stakeholders in managing visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Aside from hotels and resorts, the Gold Standard Certification also applies to the Ladyville Taxi Union, as well as private charters.  It is the first job for Tour Operator Lascelle Tillett in the last six months.


Lascelle Tillett

Lascelle Tillett, S&L Travel and Tours

“It’s my first job since February and we are looking forward for something because we have staff that we have to pay and they’re still working with nothing coming in.  So we’re anticipating that this would help us.  Because of the gold standard, many people that don’t have it they’re calling us to meet their guests, so we hope that this works for us.”


Despite a fairly small number of persons coming in today, the resumption of commercial operations at the PGIA sees life being breathed into the local airline industry, albeit a very small gasp.


Ravei Nunez

Ravei Nunez, Deputy Director of Operations, Tropic Air

“For us, the opening of the airport represents some confidence in the measures that the government has put in place, that the airlines have put in place in order to mitigate against the future spread of the coronavirus or the COVID-19 disease.  In terms of numbers for our operations, we’re only looking at about a five percent in comparison to our October schedule last year.”


It is anticipated that there will be some improvement in those numbers over the next few months.  Until then, the few visitors who are calling on Belize for leisure are planning to make the best of it, restrictions notwithstanding.



Isani Cayetano

“Are you comfortable with that arrangement knowing that you can’t really roam around freely on your own?”


Ken Goulet

“There’s lots of good things to see, but we’re just happy to be here, hit the beaches and have fun at the resort.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed