Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, and the Director of Tourism, John Lynch, were among 150 new passengers arriving at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on Thursday on Jet Blue Airways inaugural flight from New York.
Continuing its expansion in the Caribbean, JetBlue Airways on May 21 began a daily non-stop service to Sangster International Airport from its home base at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.
Bartlett and Lynch, accompanied by Mayor of Montego Bay, Councilor Charles Sinclair and Acting Custos of St James, Enel Brydson, joined in giving each passenger and crew member tokens and gifts.
Addressing participants at a welcome reception at the airport this morning, the Minister said that the relationship being forged between Jamaica’s tourism sector and JetBlue Airways was a “match made in Heaven.”
“As an emerging nation, an emerging airline, JetBlue, meets us at the right point, as we will grow together to achieve great things, a real win-win situation,” Bartlett said.
“It’s been a key strategy for this administration to drive the marketing and ensure that there is connectivity . where people hear about us but can’t get to us. Jamaica would, therefore, be wasting its sweetness unless we are able to be connected and JetBlue is ensuring connectivity for us,” Bartlett noted.
He said that with JetBlue joining a number of other legacy carriers from North America, will give Jamaica a full wrap of the entire continent of North America;, the only destination so to do.
” We are determined, therefore, to use this period, when the world is undergoing its most difficult and challenging time, to put our house in order, to create a level of security for destination Jamaica, so that when it turns, Jamaica is the only place that every one will come”, Bartlett added.
He announced that as soon as Parliament approves the measure, both incoming and out going passengers will be able to shop duty-free in both international airports in Jamaica.
“This will then bring us in line with the great airports of the world and will bring valued revenue to Jamaica,” the Minister said.
Mayor of Montego Bay, Councilor Charles Sinclair, had warm words of welcome for passenger and crew members of JetBlue Airways.
“We hope for you the crew and passengers an enjoyable stay, and that you will be returning on other occasions to enjoy this beautiful city and this country,” the Mayor said.
Senior Vice President of Customer Service at JetBlue Airways, Rob Maruster, announced that the airline will be offering a 20 per cent reduction in airfares from New York to Montego Bay, immediately.
“For the first time in our history, we are very proud to say not only are we happy to be in Montego Bay today, but coming this October we plan to also serve Kingston to New York non stop with JetBlue daily flights,” Maruster pointed out.