Noel Thompson/Shamir Brown
Jamaica’s airlift capacity has received a boost after US based Frontier Airlines began operating into the tourist city of Montego Bay.
The inaugural flight from Miami, Florida touched down on the tarmac at the Sangster International Airport on Friday, with over 160 passengers and crewmembers. For Odette Dyer, Regional Director at the Jamaica Tourist Board, this is a welcomed move as it bodes well for local tourism industry that is currently in recovery mode.
“The arrival of this Frontier flight today is really significant for us as a destination. The fact that Frontier could choose to open a new route into Montego Bay in the middle of a pandemic really is an amazing thing, that’s a bold step they have taken” she remarked as she joined the welcoming party at the airport on Saturday. She continued with “I want to laud the executives of Frontier for making this decision to come into the destination at a time like this, this auger very well for our destination”.
Frontier is now expected to service the island three times weekly with flights on Monday, Friday and Saturday and is expected to bring on average one hundred and sixty passengers. This is set to be part and parcel of a larger body of work done by the JTB in securing a number of seats. According to Mrs. Dyer “between May and August of 2021, we have secured approximately eight hundred and thirty-two thousand air seats into the destination.
Sales Manager for Frontier Airlines, Alfredo Gonzales, related that they were excited about this new venture. “As you know the Jamaican community is very large, not only in South Florida but around the country so this gives an opportunity for families and friends to get together and our fares are so low that anybody can afford to come and visit their friends and relatives on both directions” he remarked.
He further noted that in Frontier coming to Jamaica, they saw an opportunity to connect families and friends. “It was the right time and the right product and I think with what Jamaica has to offer, wide opened spaces, gorgeous beaches, beautiful resorts, amazing culture, the customer of today is looking for that”.
Mayor of Montego Bay, Leeroy Williams, was also on hand to welcome the flight and sought to impress on visitors the benefits of coming to the island. ““I can assure them that with this Jamaican experience, in future, they will always be willing to come to Jamaica” indicating that Jamaica and Montego Bay in particular has what they want and need.
The inaugural flight was dubbed a smooth one by Captain Tyler Peterson, who guided the plane down from the states. He noted that he was happy with flying to Jamaica, which was the first in his career of over thirteen years of flying.