By Dana Niland
Jamaica is in the midst of an airlift boom, and the trend will continue this summer.
Jamaica is set to welcome a host of new nonstop flights this summer.
Indeed, the island destination has secured over 1.4 million seats this season, an increase of 108,872 or 8.4 percent over last summer.
“We are looking to build on the strong start to 2019, having welcomed over 1.3 million visitors through the end of March, which generated just under $950 million in revenue for Jamaica’s tourism sector,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “The groundwork has been laid in the first quarter and with the increased seat capacity this summer, we anticipate continued growth and increased earnings for the destination.”
Jamaica’s primary source market, the United States., has seen the biggest growth having secured over 100,000 additional seats for the period between May and August 2019.
The Northeast region of the U.S. has seen the most significant increase, accounting for more than half of the seats secured.
From New York-JFK, JetBlue Airways has added more capacity and increased frequency to Kingston and Montego Bay, and Delta has added daily service to Kingston.
From Newark, United Airlines has increased frequency to Montego Bay from Baltimore, and Southwest has increased frequency to Montego Bay.
The Southeast region has received over 20,000 additional seats for the summer to Montego Bay.
American Airlines has increased flights from Charlotte, Delta has increased its capacity from Atlanta and JetBlue will be adding a second daily flight from Orlando during August.
Spirit Airlines has introduced new services to Montego Bay and Kingston.
From New Orleans, Vacation Express will reintroduce its charter service to Montego Bay starting May 25 and will operate through to June 22.
In the Midwest region, Southwest begins new weekly service on Saturdays from St. Louis to Montego Bay starting June 9.
The West will see United Airlines adding extra flights Tuesdays and Thursdays from Houston (IAH) to Montego Bay.
Additionally, Sun Country Airlines will begin new service from Dallas (DFW) to Montego Bay starting May 24.
This service will operate through to August 19, 2019.
“It is encouraging to see that growth is not only from the established markets. As we open new gateways, we are attracting visitors from new markets,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism.
The U.K./Europe market has grown its overall seat capacity from the region by 9,257 seats or 5.5 percent compared to last year, primarily due to the addition of new service from Manchester, larger equipment from British Airways out of Gatwick and TUI out of Manchester.
TUI has also doubled their seat capacity from Belgium and Holland with longer rotations as well.