Jamaica welcomed flights, Air Canada Dreamliner and Condor airline from Germany, which touched down at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St. James, on Sunday, July 4.
Air Canada Dreamliner landed with 190 passengers and a 10-member flight crew, whereas Condor had 210 passengers and 12 crew members.
These airlines resumed flights to Jamaica, which had stopped following the global outbreak of the COVID-19 in March of last year.
Chapter Chairperson of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) in Montego Bay, Nadine Spence, told JIS News that the return of Air Canada Dreamliner shows that there is confidence in brand Jamaica as well as the COVID-19 safety protocols that are in place.
“It shows that the Jamaican tourism product is one that is admired and loved across the world,” Ms. Spence said.
“So, we are elated to see this flight landing; we are elated to see the numbers coming on board and we are elated that come August, they will be increasing their flight into Jamaica. For now, it is one flight every Sunday, and in August it is going to be two to four flights per week as the protocol dictates,” she added.
For his part, Regional Director of the Jamaica Tourist Board in continental Europe, Gregory Shervington, said he is anticipating a resurgence in numbers now that there is a direct connection from Germany, Jamaica’s largest market in that European region.
“In 2019, we recorded well over 23,000 visitors and over the years, Germany has been the stable leader in that area. So, I expect the numbers and the intensity of the bookings to really surge now that the first flight has landed,” Mr. Shervington said.
He pointed out that flights from Germany will be on Sundays and Wednesdays.
For his part, Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon, said the two flights are great additions to bolstering the local economy.
He noted that Montego Bay and Jamaica, by extension, are prepared to reap the benefits of these international flights.
“As you know, the tourism sector contributes significantly to Montego Bay. Now that we are picking up and the flights are returning, we can expect that our employment rate will increase and a lot of our locals will get back to work,” Mr. Vernon said.