Frontier Airlines’ first flight ever from Tampa to Montego Bay is expected to bode well for Jamaica, especially the wedding segment of the country’s tourism market.
“This flight is a new market, Tampa. We’ve never had flights out of that northern portion of Florida before so that’s a good market for us. It’s also a huge wedding source market so we’re looking to drive that business as well,” said Director of Tourism Donovan White. He was on hand to welcome 145 passengers and crew members when the inaugural flight landed at Sangster International Airport (SIA) in Montego Bay recently.
The flight will operate two times a week into Montego Bay.
“This is an extremely proud moment for us to continue to expand flight service from out of North America,” said White.
Just two weeks ago Jamaica welcomed an American Airlines flight out of Austin, Texas. Airlift is vital to the country’s tourism product and each time a new flight lands, tourism officials are on hand to show their appreciation.
White lauded Frontier for its continued support of destination Jamaica.
“This is part of their strategic move to add more gateways out of the US but also add more destinations, and we’re happy to have been chosen as one of those destinations that they’re expanding with,” he said.
“This is our fifth gateway that Frontier has opened for us out of the US to include Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta and Orlando. That makes us feel confident that we’re not only growing day by day with our existing partners, we also have partners who are coming in the marketplace and seeing the destination being a successful one — one that you want to do business with — and therefore adding more seats, more flights, and therefore gives us more opportunity to grow,” he continued.
Shane Munroe, chief executive officer of MBJ Airports, operators of Sangster International Airport, agreed. He said Frontier Airlines has been rapidly adding more gateways into SIA despite the challenges associated with the pandemic.
“Frontier is perhaps the fastest-expanding airline in Montego Bay in terms of the number of routes. Five routes during the pandemic… is significant and really speaks to their confidence in the destination, and we look forward to them growing their network here in Montego Bay,” he remarked.
He is already looking ahead to more flights from other airlines.
“We’re excited, we’re expecting more later this year. It really speaks to the strength of the destination, Jamaica; the brand is strong, the culture is strong, and leisure traffic has been coming back to pre-COVID levels” he said.
Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay Richard Vernon spoke of the impact flights such as the new one offered by Frontier, have on the city’s development.
“We see that Frontier is expanding in the Caribbean and we are happy to know that Montego Bay is a part of the agenda. We look forward to further expansion,” he stated.
“We must say that with all that is happening with the expansion and the increase in the arrival of tourists to Jamaica for leisure, we have to continue to improve locally to ensure we can facilitate this industry,” he added.