Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
Fly Jamaica Airways finally made its inaugural flight last Thursday from the Norman Manley International Airport to the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, and based on the responses from passengers on board the historic journey, expectations are high for the new airline.
Director of Tourism John Lynch said the pride and enthusiasm in the Jamaican Diaspora was very high. He added that the service on the trip was excellent and the airline staff worked with a passion. However, he cautioned, the airline needs to be vigilant with the kind of service and the prices that they will offer to their clients.
"Service and cost are going to be assets to the airline. They will determine the continued viability of the airline and its operations here in Jamaica. We are also hoping for more flights from the island's two international airports and the inclusion of more destinations," Lynch said.
Meanwhile, Chief Operating Officer Captain Lloyd Tai noted that the proof of the pudding will be in the eating and Fly Jamaica will endeavour to satisfy the requirements of its clients. There are four flights per week, including Sundays, out of the Norman Manley International Airport with the next departure scheduled for Thursday, February 21. Services will include two checked bags, free meals on all flights and superb service in all cabins.
"We have started with early-morning flights and have scheduled our arrival and departures so that when our passengers get to their destinations they are out of customs quickly, especially in New York," Tai said.
Meanwhile, Fly Jamaica Airways is also looking to acquire a new aircraft by May to further service its route. "We are in the process of acquiring and certifying it. We want it to be a sister ship, very close to what we already have here," Tai said.
However, Tai said they have contingency plans in place should their current aircraft develop any difficulties until then. "We have made arrangements with companies in case of an emergency. Even with the great Air Jamaica, which had 20 aircrafts at one time, there was a contingency plan," Tai said.