Prime Minister Bruce Golding has said the merger of Jamaica’s lovebird, Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines is a practical demonstration that the two airlines mean business.
Speaking at the launch of the rebirth of Air Jamaica on January 14, Prime Minister Golding expressed appreciation to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago noting that there is a genuine spirit of collaboration between the two airlines.
“The merger was tough and challenging. There were two questions that battled for supremacy, ‘why’ and ‘why not’ and at various times it wasn’t clear which of those two questions was winning the battle. The airline business is a complex and volatile industry. It faces various factors such as fuel prices, global and regional economies and the cost associated with the post 9/11 security arrangements that have impacted severely on airline operating costs” the Prime Minister said.
He said these factors made the approach of the merger a sensible one as the two airlines have a distinct advantage, having 110 years experience between Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines.
“Caribbean Airlines has taken a strategic decision to retain, operate and promote the Air Jamaica brand” PM Golding said. The merged airlines will be operating under the theme, ‘One Caribbean airline, two brands’.
Prime Minister Golding noted that Jamaica is not abandoning Air Jamaica as it is a Jamaican brand and a national treasure. He added that it is a partnership between Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines and not a divestment.
Air Jamaica will be dedicated to flying routes into and out of Montego Bay and Kingston, Jamaica to New York (JFK), Philadelphia, Toronto, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami in North America and Nassau, the Bahamas. Caribbean Airlines with its hub in Port of Spain, Trinidad, flies to New York (JFK), Philadelphia, Toronto, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami in North America; St. Maarten, Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Tobago and Kingston in the Caribbean; Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela in South America.
Issued by: The Office of the Prime Minister