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MONTEGO BAY, St. James, Thursday November 21, 2019: United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Donald Tapia and Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett along with a raft of officials welcomed the commencement of daily nonstop American Airlines service between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Montego Bay's Sangster International Airport today.
American Airlines flight # 1349 arrived at 11:07a.m today with passengers and crew being treated to a warm welcome by officials complete with a performance by a Jamaican mento band.
Ambassador Tapia noted that, “The US and Jamaica have had a long history of diplomatic relations which includes strong airlift arrangements. Today is another representation of the strong ties between both countries which will positively impact Jamaica’s tourism and our flagship carrier."
Meanwhile Bartlett welcomed the new service noting that, "The Northeast region continues to be a strong performer for us as a destination in terms of arrivals. For the summer period, May to September 2019, the US market region recorded a 9.3 percent increase in arrivals with 785,055 visitors compared to the 718,531 visitors during the corresponding period last year. During that period, the Northeast outpaced the overall US market and saw an increase of 13.3 percent during the same period. While stopover arrivals from the US also recorded an increase of 11.1 percent for September 2019, the Northeast again outperformed the national average and grew by 18.1 percent. This reintroduced service augurs well for us as a destination."
Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis, Mr. Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Dr. Rafael Echvarne, CEO, MBJ Airports Limited, Mr. Omar Robinson, President, Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Mr. Wellesley Joseph, AA Senior Regional Manager, Western Caribbean were among the specially invited guests at the flight arrival briefing.
Meanwhile, Senior Advisor/Strategist, Delano Seiveright pointed out that the new American Airlines service comes within the frame of increased flights between the United States and Jamaica, "There is daily nonstop Delta Airlines service between Detroit, Michigan and Montego Bay starting December of this year. Jamaica has also been benefitting from several other new flight services including new nonstop flights between Dallas, Texas and Montego Bay by Sun Country Airlines; St Louis and Montego Bay by Southwest airlines and increased frequency of flights into both Kingston and Montego Bay by Jetblue and Delta Airlines."
He further noted that the increasing buoyancy in the tourism space is attributable to Bartlett's consistent piloting of specific growth inducing efforts. "The include further cementing and also opening up new source markets, including in Latin America and Europe; more new rooms; more new flights, closer collaboration with cruise operators; first-rate relationships with non-traditional players like Airbnb, among other things that represents the very cornerstone of our aggressive tourism growth strategy."
American Airlines offers its 200 million annual customers 6,800 daily flights to more than 365 destinations in 61 countries from its hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.