Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Welcomes WestJet to Kingston

Kingston, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, today welcomed one of Canada’s leading airlines, WestJet, to Kingston, as the airline launched its new service for summer 2012 through that gateway.

During a welcome reception held at the Upper Passenger Pier, at the Norman Manley International Airport, today Monday, April 30, 2012, the Minister expressed happiness at the introduction of the airline’s new service. He said, “I am extremely happy that WestJet is now flying into Kingston, as this new service will provide additional seats into the island, and is in-keeping with our goal as a Ministry to boost airlift to our destination.”

WestJet, which had some 27 flights per week into Montego Bay from Canada at the peak of the winter tourist season, today had its inaugural flight from Toronto to Kingston, and plans to fly to Kingston three times per week, providing over 6000 seats for summer 2012. Emphasizing the importance of the additional seats to Jamaica at this time, Minister McNeill pointed to Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence celebrations, which should see a greater number of Jamaicans coming to the island.

“We would like as many Jamaicans as possible to come home this year to participate in the celebrations of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence. We also welcome visitors who would like to participate in the historic celebrations as well, and additional airlift will help to make this possible. We expect to see the greatest number of these persons travelling to Jamaica during the summer, which is why this new service is very timely and advantageous” the Minister said.

Onboard the inaugural flight were 10 travel agents and two journalists who will spend a few days in the island touring Kingston and Port Antonio, Portland, as part of the marketing efforts of the Jamaica Tourist Board, JTB, to highlight the island’s tourism offerings to Canadians.

Shedding light on why the airline decided to add Kingston to its list of gateways, Vice President of WestJet, Mr. Mark Brown, explained that “the airline views Kingston as a good gateway, warranting the expansion, my team and I are happy to be coming here.”

WestJet Airlines Ltd. is one of Canada’s leading passenger airlines offering scheduled service to 71 destinations across North America and the Caribbean. Founded in 1996, the airline has grown steadily and is widely recognized for pioneering low-cost air travel in Canada.

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