British Airways (BA) made its inaugural non-stop flight from London’s Gatwick Airport in England to Montego Bay St. James, with 280 passengers on board, on Thursday (October 29).
The crew and passengers of the airline were met at the Sangster International Airport by a welcoming team, led by Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, and several representatives from the tourism fraternity.
The airline will operate twice-weekly flights to Montego Bay on Thursdays and Saturdays, with a three-class Boeing 777 aircraft. This brings British Airways service to Jamaica to five-weekly, augmenting the existing three-weekly flights to Kingston from London, Gatwick.
In addressing participants at a ceremony at the airport to welcome passengers and crew members of the flight, the Minister of Tourism said that the entire sector was pleased that Montego Bay was once again the recipient of British Airways services. The airline had stopped flying to Montego Bay some seven years ago.
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (centre) greets passengers, as they arrived on British Airways Flight BA2285 from London’s Gatwick to Montego Bay Thursday (October 29).
“British Airways has great and delightful memories of the past, when Montego Bay was a favourite port of call and, indeed, Montego Bay is delighted today that those happy days are going to come back,” Mr. Bartlett said.
“This is really what we want, inaugural flights to be full, because when inaugural flights are full, it holds vistas of continued capacity and it also increases the options of increased rotations so, instead of two flights per week, we could have four or six,” he pointed out.
He expressed the hope that the tourism marketing strategies will see growth and expansion in the European market, and into western and continental Europe and eventually penetrating eastern Europe.
“With your one world connectivity, you are ideally placed to ensure that anywhere in Europe that we go, they can get to Jamaica by British Airways and, more delightfully for us, is that Montego Bay will be now a port of premier attention,” he applauded.