Air Jamaica will not be returning
to Cayman in the immediate future, despite recent announcements.
The carrier had told the Caymanian
Compass that it was to restart operations to Owen Roberts International Airport
from Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston starting from 1 July.
Flights had been put in the schedule for lunchtimes daily with an operating
permit granted on 31 May until the end of the summer season, 29 October, with
the carrier having an option to renew after this date.
President and chief executive
officer Bruce Nobles said that there had been a high level of excitement at the
announcement of the flights when they were initially announced and that Air
Jamaica was very disappointed that it was unable to operate the Grand Cayman
“We had expected to add another
aircraft to the fleet but this deal will not go forward. Operating the schedule
as planned would have compromised our reliability and so we had to suspend
[this] route,” he told reporters.
The planned service between New
York and Barbados has also been withdrawn for the same reasons.
The airline said that passengers
already booked on these services should contact reservations at 800-523-5855
for refunds or rescheduling options.
The government of Jamaica has
secured a lease agreement with Caribbean Airlines. A transition period which is
expected to last a year during which new company Caribbean Airlines Air Jamaica
Transition Limited will oversee operations.
Following this, Trinidad-based
Caribbean Airlines will take over in full. Jamaica will own 16 per cent of the
company, estimated at US$30 million.