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Air Jamaica to resume London Heathrow flights from July 2011

Travellers will once again be able to take Jamaica holidays via Air Jamaica, the island's flagship carrier, after Trinidad's Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) announces that the airline will operate under its umbrella.

Air Jamaica to resume London Heathrow flights from July 2011

The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) is celebrating the return of the island's flagship carrier, Air Jamaica, as Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) announces that the airline will once again be operating flights as one of two brands under CAL's umbrella.

Travellers will be able to travel to Jamaica onboard Air Jamaica flights from July 2011 where the airline will be resuming its London Heathrow route taking travellers to and from their Jamaica holidays three times a week.

The announcement of the news was made by the Chairman of CAL, George Nicholas III, who spoke at the "Rebirth of Air Jamaica" event which took place at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston last week.

President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, Wayne Cummings, said: "It is no secret that the JHTA was very upset, along with many other Jamaicans, about the giving up and sale of Air Jamaica's Heathrow route, as this was a strategic position of connectivity from the UK and even more important from the difficult to-connect-to mainland Europe."

Mr Cummings explained that it was important for the airline to re-establish a presence in Montego Bay in order to make the most out of the island's tourism market.

"While the local market is key, it is well known that Jamaica's bread and butter is the tourism sector. The decision to downsize at the expense of Montego Bay must have hurt them quite badly, particularly now that they have confirmed that the Air Jamaica name and operations will continue," he explained.

He added: "The JHTA welcomes this move, as the loyalty to Air Jamaica by our visitors is well known."

In 2007, Air Jamaica vacated Heathrow International Airport and Virgin Atlantic have since been providing flights for travellers taking Jamaica holidays to both Sangster and Norman Manley international airports.

Jamaica's Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, believes that the resumption of flights could contribute towards Jamaica's target of five million visitors and stopover at Jamaica hotels by 2013, which is set to earn the island $5 billion in revenue.

Mr Bartlett commented: "While we are happy with the operation of the Gatwick gateway and the role it plays in ensuring that our arrival figures out of England and across Europe remain strong, we welcome the return of Air Jamaica to the Heathrow gateway."

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