Air Jamaica Takeover Deadline Now April 30, 2010

Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines have agreed on a new takeover deadline of April 30, pushed back from the previous target of April 12.

In a release issued Wednesday (April 7), Chairman of Air Jamaica, Hon. Dennis Lalor, said the national carrier had agreed to the extension, to ensure that sufficient time is devoted to completing the negotiations which will result in the Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines route networks being combined.

He explained that the 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,” Mr. Lalor added.

During the transition period, Air Jamaica will continue to operate its routes with its current fleet of aircraft and accompanying regulatory authorisations. Many of its employees are also expected to be utilised under the interim agreement. The transition period may last up to 12 months.

Air Jamaica’s President and CEO, Bruce Nobles, assured passengers that, in the meantime, “the little piece of Jamaica still flies”.

He said that all reservations made previously and tickets purchased on Air Jamaica will continue to be honoured. Additionally, all 7th Heaven frequent flyer benefits will continue 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 said.

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

Air Jamaica will continue to provide service from Jamaica on the New York, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto, Baltimore and Philadelphia routes, with “the usual Lovebird hospitality”, Mr. Nobles said.