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60,000 new airline seats secured for Jamaica for winter season

jamaKINGSTON, Jamaica--More than 60,000 new airline seats have already been secured for Jamaica, ahead of the 2015/16 winter tourist season which begins in December.

The disclosure was made by Tourism Director Paul Pennicook, as he addressed a media breakfast, as part of the 25th staging of the Jamaica Product Exchange JAPEX Tourism Trade Show Monday.

He said more than 50,000 of the seats are coming out of the United States, and that a number of new flights will also be coming to Jamaica.

“Some of those will be new to Jamaica and we are very excited about them. Come December 18, American Airlines introduces a nonstop service from Los Angeles [California – Ed.] into Montego Bay on weekends. Come November 1, Southwest Airlines introduces daily service from Houston [Texas – Ed.] into Montego Bay and come December 1, Frontier Airlines comes into Montego Bay four days per week from Philadelphia [Pennsylvania – Ed.],” Pennicook said.

The tourism official said that Delta Airlines will also be increasing its service out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the US, while flights will also be arriving from Gothenburg, Sweden; and Olso, Norway; and for next summer, there could be a flight from Dublin, Ireland.

“We are very excited about the future, because we are having new rooms built, we are having rooms refurbished, products are being upgraded, there are attractions ... and we have the airline seats to go with it, so we are looking forward to a wonderful 2016,” he said.

Pennicook added that there are also some marketing partnership opportunities for the tourism sector in Jamaica with the opening up of Cuba as a tourist destination.

“We will be able to work closely with Cuba and literally sell two wonderful products to the tourism industry worldwide. We happen to be two tourism destinations with a very strong cultural heritage. We have our own strengths in other areas and the fact is when we can market the destinations as one ... it’s twice the fun,” he said.

Dispelling the notion that Cuba poses a direct threat to the viability of Jamaica’s tourist industry, Pennicook said there has always been competition between the countries, but Jamaica plans to work harder to ensure that the source markets are protected.

“We intend to step up our marketing in those markets where we are already competing to ensure that we not only continue to get business, but increase our share from those markets,” he said.

As it relates to air links between Jamaica and Cuba, Pennicook said discussions are taking place with a number of airlines with a view to getting more flights between the two countries. ~ Caribbean360 ~

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