Air Tran Makes History in MoBay

No. 55 Wednesday, February 17, 2010
History was created at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay last Friday when Air Tran Airways became the first airline to launch its service into Jamaica with three flights from as many United States destinations. The flights which landed at the airport came from Orlando, Baltimore and Atlanta.

   The airline will be flying three daily flights into Montego Bay per week from Baltimore and Atlanta while it will have three flights coming into the resort airport from Orlando each week.
   An elated Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett who welcomed the airline at a reception at the Airport said Air Tran's presence in Jamaica is historic in a number of ways, based on the fact that the arrangements started out as the airline just wanted to fly into Montego Bay. He said for the airline to launch the service with three flights was clear indication that Jamaica remains a prime destination for tourists as well as Jamaicans who want to return home to visit friend and families.
   Minister Bartlett said, "Air Tran will now have 18 flights per week. This history that Air Tran has created today gives the company the right to proclaim Thursday February 11 Air Tran day at the Sangster International Airport. This is a major display of confidence in Jamaica as a destination and we are grateful for that. The arrival of this airline today, brings in over 3-hundred visitors and welcome Air Tran with open arms, especially as we are now in the Winter Tourist Season which is expected to perform extremely well in terms of arrivals."
   The Tourism Minister said "Jamaica is expected to receive record numbers of arrivals during this Winter Tourist season with just over a million air seats already secured and are being used by travellers to this island. Jamaica is now the 57th destination that Air Tran services and the airline will playa great role in efforts aimed at growing tourist arrivals into this country."
   Minister Bartlett said Jamaica's "drive for five" programme in which efforts are being made to attract 5-million visitors and earn US$5M by the year 2015 remains on course. He said "last year, Jamaica achieved its highest ever figures in visitor arrivals, over 1.8M and we have been working on an air lift programme aimed at attaining those goals. Air Tran and other carriers which have added Jamaica to its destinations this year are coming to a very hot destination" .
   Turning to new and creative ways which are being identified to allow visitors to shop while in Jamaica, Minister Bartlett said, "We are a ware that one of the best way to enhance economic benefits from tourism is to give visitors more opportunities to spend. We have examined the earning potential of Jamaica's tourism sector very carefully and have decided to put measures in place which will allow us to market the island as the shopping Mecca of the Caribbean. To this end, we are making changes to existing legislations to facilitate the attraction of high end visitors who will enjoy duty free shopping as well as Casino gaming which is due to come on stream soon."

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