Business

Non-stop from Peru — flights between Lima and Montego Bay

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says plans are far advanced to commence non-stop flights between Peru and Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Bartlett, who recently met with senior executives of LATAM Airlines Group at their headquarters in Chile, described the get-together as successful.

“The meeting is the strongest signal that the Latin American market is now going to come into its own. We could see three flights per week between their Lima, Peru hub and Montego Bay, Jamaica within 12 months,” Minister Bartlett said in a press release.

Last week, Minister Bartlett also announced that one of Latin America's largest airlines, COPA, will increase to daily its service between Panama City and Montego Bay come July, bringing to 11 the overall number of flights weekly between both countries.

“With Copa Airlines increasing service into Montego Bay to a daily flight coupled with their four flights a week into Kingston, LATAM's entry would increase to 14 the number of non-stop flights out of Latin America into Jamaica every week.

“The implications of these increased flights will be significant for the expansion of growth in South America and we could very well see my projection of 50,000 to 60,000 visitors out of the region by 2020,” the Minister continued.

According to data received by the ministry, approximately 10,000 tourists visit Jamaica annually from Argentina and Chile – which accounts for the bulk of tourist arrivals from Latin America to the island. However, limited cost-effective and seamless air connectivity has been a hindrance for attracting more tourists from South America to Jamaica.

LATAM Airlines Group is Latin America's leading airline group with one of the largest route networks in the world, offering air services to around 140 destinations in 25 countries, and is present in six domestic markets in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, in addition to operations elsewhere around the globe. It operates more than 1,200 flights per day and transports 67 million passengers per year.

Bartlett announced to a large gathering of Peruvian travel agents a familiarisation trip to Jamaica as the island gets set for a marked increase in arrivals from several Latin American nations.

Peru is classified as upper middle-income by the World Bank and is the 39th largest in the world by total GDP. It also has one of the world's fastest-growing economies and a population of over 28 million.

“It was very important for us to meet with tour operators while in South America, so that they can prepare for the anticipated increase in interest in Jamaica,” he noted.

Well over 30,000 Latin American tourists visited Jamaica last year representing a 16 per cent increase over the previous year.

“With non-stop and more direct flights, I know that people are going to be so happy because it is going to now be a flight for a few hours. They travel a lot with children, which is why they prefer nonstop and more direct flights. They will feel like the other country [Jamaica] is giving them more importance. I know for sure it is going to be a success,” said Francisco Fermini, commercial manager of Peruvian Tour Company, American Reps, one of the largest tour operators in the region, in the release from the Ministry of Tourism.

Minister Bartlett is currently in Latin America and is joined by JTB head Donovan White; senior advisor/strategist Delano Seiveright; JTB Deputy Director of Tourism, Sales/USA and Latin America Donnie Dawson and other senior JTB and ministry officials.

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