JIS News

The highly anticipated return of Jamaica’s national airline to Canada is less than three weeks away and the airline is resuming service with pomp.
On Monday, April 5, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson will head a list of dignitaries on Air Jamaica’s first flight into Toronto’s Pearson International Airport in 14 years. Also expected on that flight are Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Omar Davies; Transport and Works Minister, Robert Pickersgill and Chairman of Air Jamaica, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.
Prime Minister Patterson will also be Air Jamaica’s Guest of Honour at a celebratory function later that night at the prestigious Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto.
On Sunday, April 4, a special service of thanksgiving marking the return of the airline will take place at Revivaltime Tabernacle in Toronto. The church, one of the largest in Toronto, is headed by Jamaican-born Rev. Audley James.
Recently, officials of Air Jamaica were in Toronto to unveil several tasty dishes and highlight the services that Canadian passengers will be able to enjoy.
Declaring that Air Jamaica is here to stay, Richard Lue, Regional Manager for Special Markets highlighted some of the services of the airline, such as the free champagne, wine and beer, sumptuous meals, the loyalty programme and the unaccompanied minors programme “which is second to none.”
Explaining that Air Jamaica’s aim was for each passenger to have a great flying experience, Mr. Lue said the expectation was that as soon as Jamaicans check-in they would immediately feel as if they were already home, while tourists should feel as if they were already on vacation.
Will Rogers, Air Jamaica’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Affairs, highlighted some of the changes the airline had experienced since it last flew to Canada in 1990, the most important being privatization 10 years ago. With the birth of the revitalized Air Jamaica, a commitment was made to resume service to gateways where there was a significant Jamaican population and the time was now right for the resumption to Canada, he noted.
Also on hand was the “only flying Chef in the industry”, Louis Bailey, who praised Toronto for the wide variety of Caribbean foods available there, unlike several of Air Jamaica’s other gateways.
Chef Bailey, who can be seen on several flights each week talking to passengers and getting their feedback on the dishes served, said it was very easy to change the menu if there were complaints. There were no complaints from the participants who sampled some of the dishes which will be served on the flights, including ackee and saltfish, calaloo and saltfish, run dung, festival and jerk chicken.
On April 5, Air Jamaica flies into Toronto from Kingston and on April 6 at 8:30 a.m., Air Jamaica departs Toronto for Kingston. At this time Air Jamaica will not be flying to Montego Bay from Canada, but will have seats on Air Canada flights into the second city.

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