(Jamaica Observer) Driven by its commitment to providing air transportation within the Caribbean and to North America, Fly Jamaica Airways has acquired a second aircraft which, the airline says, it intends to put into service as soon as it gets all the regulatory approvals.
The Boeing 767 300ER adds to the Boeing 757 which the carrier now utilises to provide daily scheduled service to New York, Toronto, Guyana and Jamaica.
“We’re roughly flying 80 hours a week,” Captain Paul Ronald Reece, chairman and CEO, told the Jamaica Observer last week.
“We’re in for the long haul. The second plane is there to enhance our route structure, plus create new routes within the Caribbean and South America,” Captain Reece added.
“The plan is to have two 757s and two 767s, that’s the ultimate plan,” Reece said.
Asked about the young airline’s route expansion plans, Reece would only say that they exist. “We don’t want to say yet where we’re going,” he offered, explaining that his prudence is grounded in his desire not to give his competitors an edge.
The Boeing 767 300ER, Captain Reece said, has a seating capacity of 246 (12 business, 234 economy).
“As soon as we finish all our manuals and we pass them through the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) and the JCAA (Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority) and we get the approval, we will put the aeroplane into service,” Reece explained.
The airline, he said, currently employs 282 Jamaicans, both here and abroad. “We are truly a Jamaican company, and the Government gave us all assurance that we would get every encouragement from them, so we are trying to do our best,” he said.
“We opened a route that never existed — Georgetown to Kingston; nobody ever did that before,” Reece said, adding that the route is being used by Jamaican companies, such as GraceKennedy, Wisynco, Tastee, to name a few.
“We have created an air bridge between Jamaica and Guyana. So because we have created this link, businesses are starting between Jamaicans and Guyanese,” he said.
Emphasising the airline’s commitment to providing service in the region, another director, Captain Patrick Cousins, said it was important to note that “over the past five years, there have been about four applications to the JCAA to start airlines here, but only one, Fly Jamaica, has started.”