...And now, a new Frontier
Low-cost American carrier expands non-stop service to Montego Bay
Frontier Airlines executives Alfredo Gonzalez (left), manager for international and domestic sales; and William Evans (second left), senior manager for international sales and marketing, raise a toast to the carrier's new non-stop service to Montego Bay with (from third left), Jamaica Tourist Board Regional Director Odette Dyer; deputy mayor of Montego Bay Councillor Richard Vernon; Sharon Heslop-Brown, commercial business development and marketing manager for MBJ Airports Limited; Rafael Matad, deputy chair of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association Montego Bay Chapter; and Joy Roberts, executive director of Jamaica Vacations, during Tuesday's press conference at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay to announce the new flights.

MONTEGO BAY, St James — American low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines has announced plans to expand its relationship with Jamaica by introducing three additional non-stop flights into Montego Bay starting next February.

Frontier's Senior Manager for International Sales and Marketing William Evans made the announcement Tuesday during a brief press conference at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

The airline will provide non-stop flights from St Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri, Denver International Airport in Colorado, and Chicago Midway International Airport in Illinois.

"We will begin on February 23rd with three weekly non-stop [flights] to St Louis International on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays," Evans told reporters.

He disclosed that this route will attract "an introductory fare of US$139 one-way".

"On February 24th we will introduce non-stop service to Denver, Colorado, which is the birthplace of Frontier Airlines. We will operate that route on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The introductory rate is US$149 one-way. Then, on February 25th, we are going to introduce a Saturday service non-stop to Chicago," he explained.

Frontier Airline's Senior Manager for International Sales and Marketing William Evans speaking during apress conference at Sangster International Airport on Tuesday.

This service expansion will see Frontier offering eight non-stop flights from Sangster International Airport, Evans pointed out. Though Frontier's relationship with Jamaica is fairly new, the airline is "excited that Montego Bay is one of the leading destinations that we can serve", he added.

According to Evans, Frontier will continue to spread its wings into new territories.

"We are tagged as America's greatest airline, being the youngest in the industry," he said, adding that the carrier operates A320 and A321 in its fleet, which is growing, with 116 aircraft in operation today.

"We are going to triple in size and that means we need to put our aeroplanes all over," he said.

Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston will also benefit from an additional non-stop flight coming next month.

"Starting on November 7th [there] will be a twice weekly non-stop service from Kingston to Atlanta, so we have the entire island covered and we will continue to grow," said Evans.

He described the Airbus family of aircraft as "the most fuel-efficient on the market" and as such they allow Frontier to keep costs low and pass that on to passengers.

"So we can allow our passengers to fly to destinations that they may not have been able to afford in the past," he said.

Alfredo Gonzalez, the airline's manager for international and domestic sales, said this expansion was influenced by the assistance the airline received from Jamaica.

"The support that we get here in Montego Bay isn't like the support we get anywhere else. The support we get from Jamaica is unequal in the Caribbean and Central America," said Gonzalez.

Regional director for the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Odette Dyer told reporters that these additional flights are "a plus for destination Jamaica".

"This will add to our number of arrivals for the year and that is very important to us. It will keep our hotel rooms booked [and] put heads in beds, and we are really excited about the announcement of these new routes into destination Jamaica," said Dyer.

She commended the airline's decision to introduce non-stop flights into Jamaica in June 2021.

"In the middle of a pandemic, when airlines were crashing, travel was halted, you were brave enough and believed in destination Jamaica," Dyer said.

Pointing to the success of Jamaica's tourism sector since the resumption of air travel last year, Dyer said the country has recorded pre-pandemic numbers and is looking to a prosperous winter tourist season.

"Tourism continues to be very good to Jamaica. We are almost at our pre-pandemic level of arrivals… and that is a major, major accomplishment. Other destinations have not even started recovering and we are almost at pre-COVID levels. It is [through] airline partners such as Frontier that have the confidence to come in here and highlight destination Jamaica," Dyer said.

"The minister [of tourism] announced recently that we have earned $4 billion so far in 2022. Our winter numbers are looking really good and we are anxious to see what we will close out the year with," she added.

Also welcoming Frontier's service expansion was Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay Councillor Richard Vernon.

"Montego Bay is at a place where it is expanding and we value our transportation sector, especially our flights," Vernon said.

Noting that the local authority also has a part to play in enhancing Jamaica's tourism sector, Vernon stated that the St James Municipal Corporation recently met with representatives from the Tourism Product Development Company and other tourism stakeholders to seek ways "to make the experience better for our visitors".

BY ROCHELLE CLAYTON Observer staff reporter claytonr@jamaicaobserver.com

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