Jamaica News: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says American Airline’s reintroduction of daily non-stop service from New York’s JFK Airport to Montego Bay, will give Jamaica a major leg up on its regional competitors.
Addressing tourism stakeholders and business interests at a reception to welcome the return of service at the MBJ Sangster International Airport on Thursday (November 21), Minister Bartlett said that the flights will provide a further boost for what is expected to be another booming winter season.
“This is an important and valuable service since it allows us additional capacity to transport the increased number of visitors as well as overseas Jamaicans expected home this holiday season,” Mr. Bartlett said.
“The reintroduction of this service is critical for us as a destination, particularly from the Northeast United States. American Airlines is the largest carrier of visitors to the island, and for the winter season, based on the seats secured, the airline is a significant contributor to that increase,” he added.
The Minister said that the Northeast region of the United States, comprising states such as New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, continues to be a strong performer for Jamaica as it relates to arrivals.
He said that for the summer period, May to September 2019, the US market recorded a 9.3 per cent increase in arrivals with 785,055 visitors compared to the 718,531 visitors during the corresponding period last year.
The Northeast region saw an increase of 13.3 per cent, outpacing the US market during the period.
While stopover arrivals from the US also recorded an increase of 11.1 per cent for September 2019, the Northeast again outperformed the national average, growing by 18.1 per cent.
Minister Bartlett said that the Northeast will gain more than half of the additional seats secured for the winter.
He said that the country welcomes the enhanced capacity and increased connectivity that will result from the reintroduction of American Airline’s non-stop flights into Montego Bay “as we seek to achieve our goal of attracting five million visitors by 2021”.
He noted that the service marks the strengthening of the partnership between Jamaica and America’s legacy carrier, which offers 6,800 daily flights to more than 365 destinations in 61 countries from its hubs, including New York, Charlotte and Miami.
“Our destination stands to benefit from the more than $25 billion the airline has invested in its product and people since 2013,” the Minister added.
Source: JIS News