Disruption of International Mail

Due to COVID-19, there has been a delay in international mail coming in and going out of the country. Some persons who rely on their pension cheques being sent via the postal service from their countries are concerned about running out of cash. But as we found out today from the Belize Postal Service, the suspension of American Airlines flights to the country has affected the system in place. Prior to COVID-19, international mails were transferred to and from Belize on a daily basis; the post office is now relying on AmeriJet to provide that service. But they travel to Belize only once a week. To further aggravate matters is that the mails are only from the United States due to suspended airline travel from other countries.

James Gabriel, Postmaster General

“The problem is not that international mail is not coming, the problem is that we are not getting mails from the other countries. The only country that we are currently getting mails from is the United States of America. The reality of the matter is that for as long as Belize and the rest of the world continue to experience transportation issues, we will continue to have issues with the transportation of mails that is because mails are transported on a daily basis on the regular airlines that would come to Belize. One of our premiere carriers for Belize is American Airlines and I am sure that you are aware that American Airlines has suspended flights to Belize and so that has left us with no other option but to use AmeriJet which is a cargo airline and that comes into Belize one time a week. So then, what do we do at the post office? Our mails now comes in one day per week which before mails used to come in seven days per week. And which option do we have to send out mail? AmeriJet one day per week. So that’s the situation that post offices not only in Belize are faced with, but post offices across the world.”

When Will Postal Service Return to Normal?

The Universal Postal Union, in which Belize has membership, is recording this trend worldwide due to the suspension of airline travel. Postmaster General James Gabriel says that with the reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport on August fifteenth, it is expected that the transfer of international mail will change.

James Gabriel, Postmaster General

“Until the matter of transportation is resolved, we will continue to have those issues.”

Duane Moody

“Is there any timeline. I know speaking with the union, is there any projection as to a timeline when this is expected to resume?”

James Gabriel

“Well for Belize, I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel when I consider that a decision has been taken for the airport to open on the fifteenth of August. And so that is a light at the end of the tunnel. From there, we see where we go.”

Channel 5