Air Jamaica announces new service to Belize

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 12, No. 40            October 17, 2002

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At a Belize Tourism Board (BTB) press conference last week, Air Jamaica announced it will commence non-stop flights to Belize from its Montego Bay hub in Jamaica, beginning November 21st, 2002. The Air Jamaica Airbus A321 aircraft will connect Belize with the US gateways of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, New York, Newark, Philadelphia and Chicago.

    The Air Jamaica flight will leave Montego Bay at 12:40 p.m. and arrive in Belize at 1:30 p.m., four times weekly: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. It then departs Belize at 2:20 p.m. and arrives in Montego Bay at 5:05 p.m. The Airbus A321 aircraft accommodates 12 first class and 176 economy class seats. The duration of the flight is approximately one hour and forty-five minutes.    

    "We are encouraged by Air Jamaica's presence in Belize," commented Minister of Tourism Mark Espat. "The recent developments in the airline industry in Belize have served to build greater confidence among tourism stakeholders, both locally and internationally. This new flight will mean easier and more accessible travel to and from Belize and the Caribbean, as well as provide more options for visitors wishing to vacation in Belize," continued Espat.

    According to the BTB release, Air Jamaica has been in service since 1969 and currently operates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Caribbean. Air Jamaica provides over 360 flights per week from major gateways in the United States. Air Jamaica "code shares" with Delta Airlines and Air Canada, and has Joint-Fare agreements with United, US Air, Continental and Virgin Airlines.

    In related news, US Air will commence non-stop service between Belize City and Charlotte, North Carolina beginning November 9th. Like Air Jamaica, these flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

    American Airlines will also schedule a second flight from Miami to Belize City four times a week beginning December 15th, 2002.

    Continental Airlines also announced an additional weekly flight to Belize City beginning December 14th. The flight will depart from Continental's New York hub at Newark Liberty Airport every Saturday at 9:15 a.m. and arrive in Belize City at 12:40 p.m. It will continue on to San Pedro Sula, Honduras at 1:35 p.m. and eventually return to Newark at 8:35 that evening. Continental currently operates daily service to Belize from Houston, Texas.

    These four new flights will give Belize some 96,000 additional airline seats per year, a 20% increase over the current level.
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