FT. LAUDERDALE – After three weeks of service, Air Jamaica says the traveling public is responding eagerly to its new service between Fort Lauderdale and Barbados, and hopes that within a year the frequency will move from three to seven days a week.
Air Jamaica’s Vice President of Sales, George deMercado, said loads have been very encouraging, especially at the height of the recent Crop Over season which attracted Barbadians in the Diaspora and visitors alike in large numbers. “We expect the momentum to continue in August with Bajans returning home after the festival and many more Caribbean people taking advantage of our special fares to visit friends, family and the shopping malls South Florida has to offer,” he said.
The new flight operates non-stop in both directions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and connects with LIAT to Tobago, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Dominica, Martinique, Antigua, and St. Kitts and Nevis. Barbados-bound flights (JM 96) depart Fort Lauderdale at 9:40 a.m., arriving at 1:00 p.m. Fort Lauderdale-bound flights (JM 97) depart Barbados at 1:50 p.m. and arrive at 5:30 p.m.
Barbados’ Minister of Tourism, Noel Lynch, one of the visionaries behind the new service, said “this flight is going to be a winner (and) strengthens our resolve to work together as Caribbean people, adding that the Government of Barbados is committed to the service, which he sees as an opportunity to rebuild the important United States market.
Paul Pennicook, Air Jamaica’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, said the entire Air Jamaica family is very excited about the service, not only because it is the first and the only non-stop service between Fort Lauderdale and Barbados, but the flight connects with LIAT to a number of Eastern Caribbean territories, and can connect visitors with cruise liners in either Barbados or Fort Lauderdale. “We anticipate that this will be so successful that we will indeed move soon to a daily service,” he said.
Air Jamaica operates Airbus A-320 service on the new flights with 138 seats in Economy and 12 in Executive Business Class.
Since Air Jamaica began operations out of Fort Lauderdale in 1995, the airline has carried more than two million passengers.
HERE’S TO PARTNERSHIP: From left: Barbados’ Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch with Air Jamaica’s George deMercado and Paul Pennicook.