New flights broaden options for locals and visitors, says Bartlett

Monday, July 01, 2019

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Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said yesterday that a flurry of new flights between the United States, South America and Jamaica, including new non-stop services between Lima, Peru; New York; Detroit and Montego Bay, will lead to an even broader variety of flight options for locals and visitors alike.

Bartlett also announced that starting December of this year there would be three weekly flights between Lima, Peru and Montego Bay by LATAM Airlines, thereby further opening up tourist markets of Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador and other countries “given LATAM's massive Lima, Peru hub that connects with scores of destinations across the South American continent”.

LATAM Airlines Group is Latin America's largest, operating more than 1,200 flights per day and transporting 67 million passengers per year. It has one of the largest route networks in the world, offering air services to around 140 destinations in 25 countries with significant presence in six domestic markets in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

In April last year, Bartlett and several tourism officials including Director of Tourism, Donovan White; Senior Advisor/Strategist Delano Seiveright and Deputy Director of Tourism — Sales/USA and Latin America Donnie Dawson visited Argentina, Chile, Peru and Colombia. They met with the leadership of Latin America's largest airlines, tour operators, travel media, government officials, travel agents, investors among other stakeholders as part of efforts to not only boost but diversify Jamaica's tourism source markets.

Jamaica currently gets the bulk of its visitors from the United States of America followed by Canada, then the United Kingdom. As many as 10,000 Chilean and Argentinian tourists visited Jamaica last year alone.

Bartlett also disclosed the commencement of daily non-stop American Airlines service between New York's JFK International Airport and Montego Bay starting November of this year and daily non-stop Delta Airlines service between Detroit, Michigan and Montego Bay starting December of this year.

Jamaica has also been benefitting from several other new flight services, including new non-stop flights between Dallas, Texas and Montego Bay by Sun Country Airlines; St Louis and Montego Bay by Southwest Airlines and Manchester, United Kingdom and Montego Bay by TUI. There has also been increased frequency of flights into both Kingston and Montego Bay by Jetblue and Delta Airlines.

Seiveright noted that seat capacity for Jamaica this summer was above 1.4 million, which is about 108,000 or eight per cent more than 2018, with the largest chunk coming from the United States (US), an increase of over 100,000 seats for the summer period May through August 2019, compared with the same period 2018.

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