KINGSTON: Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, has announced that Jamaica’s efforts to secure airlift out of several European countries has been successful.
The Czech Republic, France and Scandinavian countries are among the new territories from which additional airlift has been secured, said Dr. McNeill.
“We have confirmed service out of the Czech Republic for this winter,” said McNeill. “Exim Tours, which is owned by German tour operator Meir’s Velt Reisen, will operate a charter from Prague starting December 28, 2012. The flight is to be shared with Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, with 100 seats designated for Jamaica and will have 10 rotations.”
In support of the initiative, 100 travel agents will be flown from Europe to Jamaica to tour the island next week.
The arrangements will also see the introduction of non-stop service out of Paris, France, operated by French tour operator Look Voyages, providing 350 seats. Scandinavia, which includes the countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, is another market which is being targeted by Jamaica.
European tour operator TUI has also confirmed flights out of Stockholm, Sweden, to Montego Bay for the 2013/2014 winter tourist season. The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight will provide an additional 28,000 room nights on a fortnightly rotation,” said McNeill.
Thomas Cook Nordic has started a Jamaica program commencing next month using the Condor flight via Frankfurt, Germany. The company will also offer service from Stockholm on a fortnightly basis with their own aircraft, an Airbus 330 for winter 2013-2014.
McNeill said Virgin Atlantic Airways will add a third flight from the United Kingdom to Montego Bay and British Airlines has committed to maintaining its three flights to Kingston.
In welcoming the news, President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, Evelyn Smith, stressed the importance of the new flights for the tourism sector.
“Our European visitors traditionally stay longer – typically 10 nights – which helps to build an occupancy base at our hotels,” she said. “And in anticipation of these new flights, our members are already looking at providing special rates to coincide with the start of these flights.”