American Airlines has just launched a pair of new Caribbean routes, Caribbean Journal has learned.
The world’s largest airline has kicked off new service from Austin, Texas to both Montego Bay, Jamaica and the island of Cozumel, Mexico.
Both are a sign of Austin’s growing import as a source market for the Caribbean, following the city’s dynamic growth, most notably amid the pandemic.
Both routes are operating once weekly on Saturdays.
The move comes after American Airlines kicked off a broad network expansion from Austin in the last quarter of 2021, adding flights to Caribbean destinations like Punta Cana, Nassau, The Bahamas and Puerto Rico’s San Juan.
“As we celebrate our 45th anniversary in Jamaica, we are thrilled to continue strengthening our presence with new service between Austin and Montego Bay, and in just a few months with the launch of our third destination in the island, Ocho Rios.” said Jose Maria Giraldo, American Airlines’ Managing Director for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
The aforementioned Ocho Rios route is slated to launch from Miami in November with service to Jamaica’s Ian Fleming International Airport.
This summer, Jamaica will be operating up to 15 daily flights to Jamaica, what Giraldo called a “robust Jamaican footprint.”
“The expansion of this new route to MBJ is an indication that the confidence that American Airlines has in Jamaica as a destination is unwavering and they continue to respond to the needs of travelers, thus this direct service from Texas,” said Shane Munroe, chief executive officer of MBJ Airports Limited. “We look forward to welcoming passengers directly from Austin, Texas on a weekly basis.”
As for Cozumel, it’s yet another route for an airport that, while small, has seen surging growth of late.
This year so far, passenger traffic in Cozumel is at 275,647, according to data from ASUR, which manages the airport.
That represents a 59.1 percent improvement over the same period in 2021 and nearly the same numbers as in 2019, before the pandemic.