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Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has lauded the performance of the national carrier, Air Jamaica, against what he said are difficult times for the airline industry and the global economy.
In an interview, Mr. Bartlett said that Air Jamaica continues to make steady improvements in its operations, with marked achievements for the month of April 2009. During the period, the airline completed 100 per cent of scheduled flights with no cancellations and sold 82 per cent of all available seats, resulting in a record load factor. Additionally, on-time performance was 50 per cent better than April 2008.
“Air Jamaica’s success in improving performance comes at an important time for Jamaica’s tourism,” said Minister Bartlett. “We’re proving to the international travel industry that both the airline and the country are working hard to maintain the level of vibrancy needed to achieve gains, even in a tough market,” he added.
Air Jamaica’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bruce Nobles, said the load factor of 82 per cent is a significant achievement for this period. “That this happened in the month of our 40th Anniversary, makes it even more important to us. This is about our capabilities as much as it is about our commitment to making sure that Air Jamaica beats these tough times and emerges in a better position than we’ve ever been,” he said.
Highlighting growing passenger demand for seats, Air Jamaica has announced increased summer flight schedules from several of its US gateways. The airline will add two more weekly flights between New York and Grenada and a fourth daily flight between New York and Jamaica. From Fort Lauderdale, in Florida, the carrier has added a fifth daily flight to Jamaica; added two weekly flights between Orlando and Jamaica; and increased its service between Toronto, Canada and Jamaica.