Local air service Jam Air up and flying smoothly

Business

Local air service Jam Air up and flying smoothly

BY ALEXIS MONTEITH
Observer Business Writer

Friday, August 30, 2019

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A new domestic air travel service, Jam Air, has begun operating from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The airline began its operations in July filling a void that has seen no regularly scheduled domestic flights in Jamaica for the past seven years.

Jam Air currently services the destinations of Montego Bay, Kingston, Negril, and Ocho Rios with regularly scheduled service. The company also offers charter flights to all these destinations as well as Port Antonio and Treasure Beach.

Chief executive officer (CEO) of Jam Air, Howard Levy, said in the past month of operation the feedback from customers has been encouraging.

“The people that use the service say it is needed,” he stated. “It is a service that people have been longing for because there has been no regular service for some time now.”

Levy revealed that the airline is using a DHC-6-300 aircraft with a capacity of 19 seats to “build the route” and will shortly be adding a Dash 8 with a seating capacity of 37, as demand increases. The coming winter season will also see the arrival of additional aircraft.

Jam Air is currently being promoted through advertising both in print and radio, Internet marketing, the organisation's website, social media, and through the global distribution system (GDS), a computerised networking system within the travel industry.

As part of promotion it is also offering introductory rates which are lower than the rates of 10 to 12 years ago, according to Levy.

The company has three offices including its head office at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay as well as offices at Tinson Pen Airport in Kingston and the Negril aerodrome.

“It is our plan to open back all the airports to make access easy and air travel easy and affordable,” Levy declared. “Every country that is growing and going somewhere needs a fast and effective means of transportation. I would like to see the aviation industry rebuilt in Jamaica.”

As part of the commitment to easier travel Jam Air now organises ground taxi service for passengers who will need it at the various destinations and will soon be organising cars and drivers for customers requiring these services in addition to their air transportation.

The airline has seen a mix of local clients and tourists within the past month and Levy wants to be able to provide transportation solutions for both groups.

“We are looking at Jamaicans being about 30 per cent of our market,” he said. “We are trying to move tourists who are in Montego Bay and Negril who want to go to Kingston to do tours. We can bring some of the north coast tourism revenue to Kingston, which is a growing cultural and historical tourism destination.

“Sangster International Airport accommodates 70 to 75 per cent of flights to Jamaica,” he added. “We will be providing connections to and from Kingston and Montego Bay for these international flights.”

The airline's CEO indicated that the immediate aim of the business is to focus on establishing the domestic market first before looking at scheduled and chartered service for regional destinations such as Cuba and other Caribbean countries and territories.

Levy underscored the benefits of a domestic airline service for both business people and tourists.

“We offer the person travelling between Kingston and Montego Bay, whether it is a lawyer travelling to court, a business person going for a meeting or a tourist going to do a tour, the ability to get to their destination in 30 minutes and another 30 minutes to return,” he pointed out. “When you travel by road it is going to take you seven to eight hours to go and return. That's your business day.

“When you fly in comfort and style and relaxation avoiding the craziness of the roads, you are well rested and very relaxed,” he continued. “The roads can lead to the exhaustion factor from driving, of course.”

Levy, in addition to being the CEO of Jam Air, is also a well-known Jamaican aviator who has worked in the Jamaican aviation industry for over 30 years.


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