South America opens up - Non-stop flights to Jamaica start next year
Seven months after tourism minister Edmund Bartlett led a delegation of tourism officials into a meeting with senior executives of LATAM Airlines Group at their headquarters in, Santiago, Chile, the airline has announced that it will operate three weekly flights between Montego Bay, Jamaica, and its major hub in Lima, Peru, starting July 1, 2019.
LATAM Airlines Group is Latin America's largest airline group, operating more than 1,200 flights per day, and transports 67 million passengers per year. It has one of the largest route networks in the world, offering air services to around 140 destinations in 25 countries, with a significant presence in six domestic markets in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
In welcoming the announce-ment, Bartlett said: "This is a result of very focused and strategic engagements aimed at cementing these types of partnerships, which will bring even more visitors to our shores. Earlier this year, I set a target aimed at increasing South American arrivals into Jamaica to 60,000 by 2021 and with increasing airlift options and a more targeted programme of engagement by the JTB (Jamaica Tourist Board) in this marketplace. I am confident that we will be able to achieve this target."
LATAM Airlines noted that its flights to Montego Bay offers convenient connections from cities in Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia. The route will be operated by Airbus A320 aircraft with capacity for 174 passengers, offering a total of 52,600 seats per year.
PART OF OUR COMMITMENT
In April of this year, Bartlett and several tourism officials - including Director of Tourism, Donovan White; senior advisor/strategist, Delano Seiveright; and deputy director of tourism, Sales/USA and Latin America, Donnie Dawson - visited Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Colombia. They met with the leadership of Latin America's largest airlines, tour operators, travel media, government officials, travel agents, and investors, among other stakeholders, as part of efforts to not only boost, but to diversify Jamaica's tourism source markets as well. Jamaica currently gets the bulk of its visitors from the United States, followed by Canada, then the United Kingdom. As many as 10,000 Chilean and Argentinean tourists visited Jamaica last year alone.
Pablo Chiozza, a LATAM vice-president, stated that "the addition of the Montego Bay-Lima route is part of our commitment to offer more leisure travel options to our passengers. Montego Bay will be our fifth destination in the Caribbean."
LATAM Airlines Peru flight LA2464 (Lima-Montego Bay) will depart Lima's Jorge Ch·vez International Airport every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday at 12:05 p.m., arriving in Montego Bay at 5 p.m.
The return flight, LA2465, will operate on the same days and depart from Sangster International Airport at 6:05 p.m., arriving in Lima at 10:50 p.m. (all times local).