Air Jamaica Flights Sold Out for Christmas – Pennicook

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Air Jamaica’s flights for the Christmas season have all been sold out and the airline is looking to add extra flights to meet the steady demand for its services.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Air Jamaica, Paul Pennicook said that, “Air Jamaica’s performance is steadily trending upwards. We already have sold out flights for Christmas into the New Year’s period forcing us to contemplate adding extra flights.”

Paul Pennicook

Mr. Pennicook, who headed the Jamaica Tourist Board just prior to joining Air Jamaica, and who was a former hotel manager noted that, “while our current focus is making the fall really big, there are early signs of healthy bookings well into March 2008.”

“There is an initiative in which Air Jamaica, with the (Jamaica Hotel and) Tourist Association and (Jamaica) Tourist Board, has put on a fantastic fall sale that is being done to stimulate tourist traffic to the island,” he told JIS News, adding that, “this has gone quite well for the past three weeks with other airlines trying to match our offer.”

“The overwhelming response is confirmation that our intended message that Jamaica is intact, despite being impacted by Hurricane Dean recently, has gained traction in the market,” he continued.

Based on the yuletide season booking trends Mr. Pennicook expressed the hope that “there will not be too much last minute scramble for seats,” adding that, “while we know our competitors will be adding flights for Christmas, we can only hope there will be enough capacity.”

Turning to the major improvements at Jamaica’s two international airports that should alleviate the inconveniences experienced by peak season travellers in previous years, a very upbeat Mr. Pennicook said that, “the airport improvements have turned out extremely good for Air Jamaica, especially in Montego Bay.”

He said that, “compared to two winters ago the upcoming season should be a breeze given the larger and better facilities.” Elaborating on the changes he told JIS News that, “Mobay has more gates, more immigration officers and a much more open and efficient customs area, while in Kingston there are now jet bridges, faster processing by immigration and customs and the elimination of lines of pre-checked passengers at the entrance of the passenger hall.”

Mr. Pennicook said he expected that the renovation work, which is still in progress in Kingston, will be at a very advanced stage of completion by Christmas, expressing confidence that, “positive benefits will be seen throughout winter.”

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