MONTEGO BAY, St James — There has been a boost in visitor arrivals to Jamaica with the advent of Air Canada Rouge, making its inaugural flight into Montego Bay on Friday, and Air Transero 747 adding more seats from Russia.
The two aircraft landed at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay with just under 600 passengers who were met by officials from the tourism sector and presented with gifts to the welcoming sound of reggae music played by mento bands.
According to Deputy Director of Tourism and Marketing Sandra Scott, the tourism fraternity was very excited as the 2013/2014 season promises to be one of the best ever.
"With two large aircraft bringing maximum passengers to Montego Bay, today is truly an exciting day for tourism in Jamaica and we are very happy about that. Air Canada will be coming to Jamaica on a daily basis from Toronto and Transero will be bringing passengers to our country every 10 days out of Moscow," Scott told JIS News on Friday. She said that Air Transero is connecting Jamaica with Eastern Europe and the flights are expected to be always full as "the Russians love Jamaica".
Meanwhile, Chief Promotional Officer for Montego Bay Jamaica (MBJ) Airports Limited, Elizabeth Brown Scotton, said the arrival of the two major carriers into Montego Bay represents very exciting times for the airport.
"Air Canada Rouge aircraft normally see a 14 per cent increase in capacity and we are going to see a 50 per cent overall increase coming in from Canada as a result of Air Canada's operations into Jamaica and into Montego Bay. At the same time, we see a Russian flight (Transero), with their brand new 747 aircraft arriving, increasing capacity by an additional 140 seats; this is truly very exciting days for us," Brown Scotton said.
She pointed to a very strong winter tourist season with positive outcomes for all concerned.
"We are going to see very significant growth coming into this market. We have new Air Trans service coming from Chicago Midway. We have new service coming from Frontier Airlines, from Denver. There will be new markets that we have never seen into Jamaica for many years, and a very significant hub into the United States.
"We have new services with increased capacity coming out of the United Kingdom, particularly from Thompson, which is going to operate the new 787 Boeing Dreamliner Aircraft from the UK. We have really high hopes for a strong winter tourist season and strong growth and strong success for our hotels, our operators and all the people who are so dependent on tourism," Brown Scotton said.