After a year in the air, Fly Jamaica plans to soar higher.
At a presentation in the city last weekend, Roxanne Reece – one of the airline’s two directors – reflected on the first year and shared some of the plans for the carrier which started flying on February 14, 2013
The airline received its landing rights for Canada two months ago and made its inaugural non-stop flight from Toronto to Georgetown, Guyana last December 17.
“The last year has been extremely busy and challenging,” said Reece. “With any new operation, there are growing pains and hurdles which we overcame. The brutal winter in Canada and the United States has affected our schedule like all other airlines but what should not be lost is that we provided employment for nearly 130 people in Jamaica and Guyana and we are offering an authentic Caribbean experience once you fly with us.”
Reece, who has been in the aviation industry for almost three decades, said the airline plans to increase its non-stop service between Toronto to Georgetown. The airline currently flies once weekly, leaving on Tuesday afternoon and returning the following day.
“Based on the feedback we are getting, there is a need for a Friday flight which we intend to add in the summer,” she said. “We are also looking at leasing a bigger aircraft so that we can service more routes, including a South American destination.”
Reece and her husband, Ronald, own the Boeing 757 that’s leased to Fly Jamaica. The aircraft has 12 first-class and 186 economy class seats and its flight attendants are primarily ex-Air Jamaica staff. Several Guyanese were recently trained to become flight attendants.
A few flight attendants and other staff members will be among a dozen Fly Jamaica personnel who will be part of a float later this month to mark Guyana’s Mashramani celebrations.
“We are very involved in the countries in which we operate,” said Reece. “Our presence will be visible at community festivals and we also intend to give back in a tangible way.”
Tara Williams, the airline’s customer service team leader, operations manager Lawrence Kanhai and chief sales & marketing representative Edward Van Luien joined Reece at the reception to update the media, travel agents and other interested individuals.
Fly Jamaica also provides service to Jamaica and New York.