Jamaica Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has welcomed a major decision by American Airlines to introduce twice weekly non-stop flights out of USA Miami gateways to the Ian Fleming International Airport in Boscobel, commencing November this year.
In making the announcement today the carrier outlined that “American Airlines is excited to officially announce new service to Ocho Rios – Ian Fleming International Airport (OCJ)! We plan to operate two times weekly from Miami using an Envoy E-175 aircraft.”
“This is a game-changer for Jamaica’s tourism but especially for the Ocho Rios area which has been looking forward to such a development for quite some time,” says Minister Bartlett. “It also justifies the vision that we had in expanding the airport,” he added.
Mr. Bartlett explained that the American Airlines announcement comes in the wake of a recent meeting between executives of the US carrier and several public and private sector officials in Montego Bay. Among the participants were Minister Bartlett, Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon Audley Shaw; Director of Tourism, Donovan White; Delano Seiveright, Senior Communications Strategist, Ministry of Tourism; Chairman of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), Adam Stewart and SRI executive, Gary Sadler.
The Miami-Ocho Rios flights, slated for Wednesdays and Saturdays, will accommodate between 76 and 88 passengers in business and economy class.
Boosting tourist arrivals and facilitating travel
“This non-stop service between the USA and our third international airport is a very valuable addition that will help to meet the aviation needs of Jamaica, and will no doubt encourage other airlines with that size aircraft to fly into that airport and take up the route,” said Mr. Bartlett.
“Having a viable third airport will also help to boost tourist arrivals and facilitate travel and the development of the northwestern belt of St Mary and Portland in addition to connecting members of the Jamaican Diaspora to home,” he said.
American Airlines has had a long-standing relationship with Jamaica with regularly scheduled non-stop flights out of several US gateways, including Miami, Philadelphia, New York, JFK (John F. Kennedy) Dallas, Charlotte, Chicago and Boston, to Kingston and Montego Bay.
Minister Bartlett stated that: “In terms of fleet size, flights, passenger loads and revenue, American Airlines is the largest mover of people in and out of Jamaica and the new flights are coming at an ideal time when Jamaica is fast recovering lost ground in visitor arrivals due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”