Jetlines brings hope for revitalised Canadian market
Canada Jetlines, which is slated to commence twice-weekly flights out of Pearson International Airport, Toronto, into Montego Bay, starting November 5, should provide a major boost for the island’s Canadian tourist market which is not yet back to full throttle. Jamaica’s good fortunes comes three months after talks started between the carrier and the Jamaica Tourist Board’s (JTB) regional director for Canada, Angella Bennett.
Jetlines’ director of sales and business development, Sanjay Kopalkar, told The Gleaner, “I met Angella at an award ceremony in Toronto. I approached her after seeing how many awards she went up to collect on behalf of the JTB, and it took her three months to sort us out. Only three months,” Kopalkar stressed.
Addressing stakeholders and members of the media at a Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX 2023) breakfast at the Jewel Grande Resort and Spa, Montego Bay on Tuesday, Kopalkar was optimistic about the prospects of flying into Jamaica.
Jetlines will operate an A320-200 aircraft, with the capacity to carry 174 passengers, Saturdays and Sundays into Montego Bay. This could move, however, to three flights per week, and the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston could be added to the roster.
Kopalkar said further, “...depending on the progress and getting new aircraft, which are lined up for the first quarter of 2024, we will look at flying at least five times a week into Jamaica.”
According to him, Jamaica is a very popular destination, and Jetlines and Jetlines Vacations were committed to providing unmatched service, comfort and affordability to their passengers with their state-of the art aircraft as well as their excellent on-board service and diverse range of vacation packages.
“We are eager to contribute to the growth of tourism in Montego Bay by offering convenient and affordable flights,” he added.
In welcoming the service, Minister Bartlett noted that Canada was Jamaica’s second largest source market, next to the USA, for tourists, and “with Jetlines coming on board we are expecting a welcome increase in stopover visitors from Canada to take us closer to achieving our committed target of five million visitors and US$5 billion in earnings within five years”.
He expressed that “together we will build bridges, create lasting memories and continue to foster strong relations between Canada and Jamaica”.
The year-old Canada Jetlines is being promoted as a value-oriented leisure airline, operating scheduled and charter services throughout North America with its fleet of Airbus A320-200 aircraft. From its base at Toronto Pearson International, the airline’s destinations also include Las Vegas, Orlando International, and Cancun, Mexico.