US Air Flies into Montego Bay

MONTEGO BAY – The buoyancy of Jamaica’s tourism sector, inspite of the global recession, was again demonstrated Friday (December 18) when US Airways Flight 1619 with 123 passengers and six crew members on board touched down on Jamaican soil.

The inaugural flight from Phoenix Sky Harbour International Airport in Arizona, USA, to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, marked the beginning of US Air’s daily non-stop winter service to Montego Bay, bringing some 92,000 passengers to the island and making a total of 669,000 passengers out of the US, alone.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, addressing guests and passengers during a reception for those who were on the US Airways inaugural trip from Phoenix to Montego Bay on Friday afternoon (December 18).

Addressing guests and passengers at a ceremony at the airport Saturday afternoon, Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said that there is expected to be a net gain of some 41,000 seats out of USA, the largest gain for Jamaica to date, during the winter season due to the additional seats.

“We believe that this is a great partnership between Jamaica and US Air, as we continue to work harder to open up the western gateways, the twenty eight other gateways that go beyond the shorelines and borderlines of the U.S.,” Mr. Bartlett said.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (second left) and Director General in the Ministry of Tourism, Carrole Guntly (left) welcome a Jamaican family, including Basil Hayle (left), his wife Nancy and daughter Nadine,, who were among the passengers on US Airways inaugural flight from Phoenix to Montego Bay, Friday afternoon (December 18).

He stated that his Ministry’s advertising strategy has penetrated the USA, through direct TV and Cable, supported by a reliable airlift strategy.

“We thank you for helping to close that loop and we have another welcome to do next year, when you will tell us that it will be no longer four flights per week, but seven,” the Minister added.

Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, John Lynch, noted that US Airways has opened up all of California to Jamaica.

“They are a fine bunch of people. We had discussions with them and immediately we both saw the great potentials in the partnership. We are hoping to have a flight per day and, if possible, two flights per day in the near future,” Mr. Lynch said.

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