(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — 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 10:40 am with 145 passengers and six crew members, who were treated to a warm welcome by officials, complete with a performance by a Jamaican mento band.
Ambassador Tapia was elated over the arrival of the flight.
“This is a great occasion…to know we have opened another gateway to the United States. What we need to get is a flight from Phoenix, Arizona. The US and Jamaica are friends, we will always be friends, no matter who tries to separate us,” Tapia noted.
Bartlett also welcomed the new service, saying 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 per cent increase in arrivals with 785,055 visitors compared to the 718,531 visitors during the corresponding period last year, he noted.
“During that period, the Northeast outpaced the overall US market and saw an increase of 13.3 per cent during the same period. While stopover arrivals from the US also recorded an increase of 11.1 per cent for September 2019, the Northeast again outperformed the national average and grew by 18.1 per cent
This reintroduced service augurs well for us as a destination,” the minister continued.
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, DC.