Caribbean Airlines to operate eight of Air Jamaica's Caribbean flights
The deal to bring two major airlines together to provide a larger number of Caribbean flights has been completed as Caribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica join forces with the help of $300 million from the government of Jamaica.
Details of the deal were unveiled a news briefing at the Carlton Savannah hotel in Cascade, Jamaica on Wednesday which was held by the chairman of Caribbean Airlines, Arthur Lok Jack. The deal will cost Caribbean Airline $300 million (US$59 million) to acquire and operate six of Air Jamaica''s aircraft and eight of its routes which provide Caribbean holidays and Caribbean flights for millions of travellers each year.
Air Jamaica will keep hold of 1,000 of its 1,800 employees who will run the operations acquired by Caribbean Airlines as part of the deal. Lok Jack confirmed: "We are taking over the routes from the first of May, that is Saturday coming."
The $300 million has been approved by the Cabinet and will go towards operating capital and expenditure. The Jamaica government will have a 16 percent share in the company and the remaining 84 percent will be acquired by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Caribbean Airlines are expecting to now operate ten weekly Caribbean flights between Jamaica, the Caymans, The Bahamas and North America.
The eight routes operated by Caribbean Airlines and the Air Jamaica will be Kingston to Ft Lauderdale, Kingston to Toronto, Kingston to Nassau, Kingston to New York, Montego Bay to Philadelphia, Montego Bay to New York, Kingston to Grand Cayman, and Montego Bay to Fort Lauderdale.
Travellers who have booked ticket with Air Jamaica for their travel to the Caribbean will still continue to be greeted by Air Jamaica Caribbean flights as the transition is expected to take between three and six months. Caribbean Airlines will also take up Air Jamaica''s frequent flyer programme. The fleet of aircraft from Air Jamaica will also keep their name and logo until Caribbean Airlines purchase or lease a new fleet from Airbus of Boeing later in the year.
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