WASHINGTON, DC – Spirit Airlines on Thursday, launched a new, nonstop service to Montego Bay, Jamaica from the Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Windsor Locks just outside of Hartford Connecticut.
At a ceremony to launch the new service on Thursday December 15 at Bradley International, it was announced that the new service will operate four times weekly, traveling to and from the Sangster International Airport in Jamaica’s tourist resort capital.
“We are proud to have finally launched nonstop service to Montego Bay,” said Kevin A. Dillon, Executive Director of the Connecticut Airports Authority. “In addition to connecting our passengers to an exciting travel destination, we are proud to offer convenient connectivity for the state’s strong Jamaican population, their friends, and their relatives.
We thank Spirit Airlines, Visit Jamaica and the many community leaders who partnered with us in securing the service and launching this much anticipated flight,” Dillon Exclaimed.
“We’ve been overjoyed by the community’s excitement and anticipation for the first-ever nonstop service connecting Connecticut and Jamaica,” said John Kirby, Vice President of Network Planning at Spirit Airlines. “We’re proud to celebrate this historic day which also marks Spirit’s first international flight from Bradley International Airport, and we thank the airport team and our Hartford Guests for their support.”
Large Jamaican Diaspora
“As the Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States of America, I am excited about this new connection that will facilitate increased movement of people and goods between Jamaica and its largest trading partner, ” said Her Excellency Audrey Marks, who represented the government of Jamaica at the launch. “In this the 60th year of Jamaica’s Independence as well as the 60th year of bilateral relations between the two nations, this represents a tangible opportunity as we seek to strengthen the legacy of bilateral cooperation for the next 60 years,” Ambassador Marks said.
“Connecticut is home to one of the largest Jamaican communities in the world, boasting the fifth largest population of residents with Jamaican ancestry among all U.S. states. According to census data, there are more than 56,000 residents with Jamaican ancestry in Connecticut.”
The Jamaican Ambassador credited the resumption of flights between Bradley International and Montego Bay, to years of support and advocacy from a number of people ranging from diaspora members, community activists and airport officials to state and locally elected representatives.
She thanked Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont for his unwavering support for this initiative; State representative Bobby Gibson and founder of the Caribbean Trade Council in Hartford, Andrew Lawrence, for their consistent efforts in making the opening of the new route a reality.
“Of course, none of this would not be possible without Spirit Airlines which has answered the call for the provision of the service. I must express my best wishes for the continued growth of the Airline,” Ambassador Marks said.
In commemoration of the date, Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont proclaimed December 15 as Jamaica Day in the State of Connecticut.
According to Governor Lamont, “the State of Connecticut and Jamaica have long enjoyed a strong relationship that enriches the civic, economic, and cultural prosperity of our shared Communities.
In his proclamation, the Governor noted that “Connecticut is home to a proud and vibrant population of residents with Jamaican heritage – according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey, Connecticut has the fifth largest population of Jamaican ancestry in the United States.”
Governor Lamont added that the “nonstop service from Bradley International Airport to Jamaica will offer significantly more convenient access for both the many families of Jamaican ancestry in our state, and our region’s leisure travelers who are excited to explore and visit the many exciting attractions that the country has to offer.”
The Spirit Airlines flight departs Bradley International at 8:00 am and arrives at Sangster International (MBJ)at 12:04 pm ET. The return flight to Bradley International Airport, departs Sangster International Airport at 1:04 PM ET and arrives at Bradley International Airport (BDL) at 5:00 PM ET.
Passengers on the inaugural flight on Thursday were treated to destination-themed live music, refreshments, and giveaways in celebration of the launch.