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Merger between Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines scheduled for end of April

The official date for the takeover of Caribbean Airlines over Air Jamaica has been pushed back to 30th April 2010 as both parties want to ensure that enough time is devoted to completing negotiations which will result in the carriers routes being combined

Merger between Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines scheduled for end of April

On a move that will affect the future of Caribbean holidays as far as air travel is concerned, it was recently announced that Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines have agreed on a new takeover deadline set now for 30th April 2010, a date that has been pushed back from the previous target of 12th April.

In an official release issued last week Dennis Lalor, Chairman of Air Jamaica, announced that the country’s national carrier had agreed to the extension in order to ensure that enough time was devoted to completing the negotiations, which will ultimately result in the Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines route networks being combined. This will mean greater flexibility for Jamaica holidays and travel to any of the other Caribbean holiday destinations that Caribbean Airlines currently operate.

Lalor then explained how the end result would be the creation of "a larger, stronger Caribbean airline to serve the region."

"The extension is also intended to ensure a seamless launch of the operations into the transition period," – he said.

Throughout the transition period, Air Jamaica will continue to operate its routes with its current fleet of aircraft and accompanying regulatory authorisations, so those having planned and booked their Jamaica holidays need to fear about these changes affecting their travel. Many of the company’s employees are also expected to be utilised under the interim agreement.

Air Jamaica's President and CEO, Bruce Nobles said this transitional period may last up to 12 months, but he assured passengers that, in the meantime, "the little piece of Jamaica still flies". So those booking Jamaica holidays with the airline during this time need not worry in the slightest as the airline will be operating as normal.

Nobles added that all reservations made previously and tickets purchased on Air Jamaica will continue to be valid. In addition to this, all 7th Heaven frequent flyer benefits will continue to apply and all passengers, shippers and business partners can continue to rely on Air Jamaica to provide the services they have come to expect.

"In simple terms, our customers and stakeholders will not see any visible difference in the airline, or its services during the initial transition period, as Jamaicans, visitors, shippers and travel partners can continue to book on Air Jamaica with confidence," he explained.

He further stated that as the routes are absorbed by Caribbean Airlines, the combined network will provide significant added value and benefits to customers and partners for better value Jamaica holidays and Caribbean holidays.

As a final note, Nobles promised that Air Jamaica will continue to provide service from Jamaica on the New York, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto, Baltimore and Philadelphis routes, with "the usual Lovebird hospitality”.

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