KINGSTON – The Government is pressing ahead with its commitment to sign some 46 air services agreements, to optimize air commerce as an economic driver.
The most recent bilateral air services agreements approved are with Iceland, Ghana, Switzerland, and Kuwait, Minister of Transport and Works, Hon Mike Henry, told Wednesday's March 30 Post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House. Additionally, he said, agreements with Brazil, Chile, South Africa and Ethiopia are being finalized.
The agreement with Nigeria is scheduled for negotiations on April 11, while discussions on an Open Skies Agreement are being concluded with China, and an air services agreement with Canada has been updated, Mr. Henry said.
“We are trying to make sure that the hub of Jamaica to the world becomes a reality…we are in the process of moving forward, and we are pursuing all the other countries that are important to flights,” he told journalists.
Last year, Jamaica signed 16 new agreements, at the Air Services Negotiation Conference in Montego Bay, in July.
In addition to commercial passenger and cargo services, the agreements seek to facilitate code sharing among designated stakeholder airlines, and to encourage fairplay among all interests, while discouraging discrimination and abuse of dominant positions. They are expected to expand air linkages between Jamaica and other countries, facilitate investment and tourism flows and provide a framework within which designated commercial carriers can operate.
By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter