Above: Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill (far left) with Russian Ambassador Vladimir Polenov (far right) (JIS Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Russian air carrier Transaero will begin nonstop service from Moscow to Montego Bay on Jan. 1, 2013.
The service, which will be carried on a Boeing 777 with 300 seats, was announced at a press briefing Thursday by Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill.
“The flights will run three months initially, however, we are in discussions with them to continue into the summer to provide the service for the entire year,” he said. “We are also formalizing plans to fly in a group of Russian media representatives to help promote destination Jamaica in Russia.”
According to McNeill, the typical minimum stay by visitors from Russia is around 10 nights, twice that of markets like the US.
He said the Ministry was optimistic that the Russian market could provide significant returns.
“There is a lot to be discovered here in Jamaica and I am sure that the coming Russian invasion will bring a wave of very engaged people,” Russia’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Vladimir Polenov, said. “The direct flights to Montego Bay mean not only Russian tourists will come to Jamaica, but we hope that our Jamaican friends will use this opportunity to come to Russia.”
Transaero is Russia’s second-largest air carrier, flying to 40 countries on 130 routes.
Its hubs are in Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.