Western Air makes Inaugural Flight to Jamaica


The largest airline out of The Bahamas, Western Air, made its inaugural flight to Jamaica today (April 12) landing at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston with 24 passengers.
Captain Busch Armbrister piloted the SAAB 340A aircraft from the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassua, which landed at about 11:30 a.m. to the usual watery welcome given at the safe landing of an inaugural flight. The crew and passengers were formally welcomed on the ground by Senior Vice-President of Operations at the NMIA, Mr. Paul Hall.
The airline is operating on the route previously served by Air Jamaica, which made its last flight from Nassau yesterday (April 11). Mr. Hall said the airport’s management was pleased that Western Air would be operating direct flights between Jamaica and The Bahamas.
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Western Air, Mr. Rex Rolle, explained that the airline decided to take up the route to minimise any displacement from the withdrawal by Air Jamaica.
“There are a lot of Bahamian students here. A lot of Bahamians live and visit Jamaica. A lot of Jamaicans visit and work in The Bahamas, most of them don’t have United States visas, so it would be quite difficult for them to come to Jamaica or The Bahamas without direct air services. Also, if you don’t come direct, the cost will be double or triple,” he pointed out.
Mr. Rolle informed that the airline would make one flight daily from Sunday to Friday each week. The aircraft seats 33 passengers on each trip.
Western Air has been in operation for 10 years as a domestic carrier and is the largest privately owned airline in The Bahamas. The airline has a fleet of 11 aircraft servicing the various islands of The Bahamas as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.
Mr. Rolle said the flight into Kingston was part of the airline’s expansion plans and that Western Air was looking to begin flights to Montego Bay in the future.

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