The Air Jamaica divestment team has advised that, by mutual agreement, a decision has been taken to extend the deadline for a Transition Services Agreement between Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines from the previous target date of April 12. A new timeline of April 30 was agreed with Caribbean Airlines as the date by which the transition arrangement is to be fully in place.
Air Jamaica Chairman, the Hon. Dennis Lalor, said Air Jamaica had agreed to the extension in an effort 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 to create 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.
He also used the opportunity to emphasize that the negotiations with Caribbean Airlines were “at a very advanced stage.” Mr. Lalor said, however, that “as is expected with transactions of this nature, they are very complex and require extensive attention to detail. Jamaicans can rest assured that the details being worked out in respect of these negotiations are designed to ensure that the best possible arrangement is made for Jamaica and Jamaicans.”
During the transition period, Air Jamaica will continue to operate on its routes, using its current fleet of aircraft, its current regulatory authorizations, and its current “JM” code. Many of Air Jamaica’s employees will also be utilized under a Caribbean Airlines/Air Jamaica interim agreement. The transition period may last up to one year “to help make certain that we use the opportunity to create the best product for travelers to and from the region,” the Air Jamaica Chairman said.
In the meantime, Air Jamaica’s President and CEO, Bruce Nobles, is assuring the airline’s passengers that “the little piece of Jamaica still flies” and that all reservations made and tickets purchased on Air Jamaica will continue to be honored. 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 from their preferred airline over the past 41 years.
“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. As Air Jamaica’s routes are absorbed by the Caribbean Airlines operation over the next year, the combined network will provide significant added value and benefits to our customers and partners,” Mr. Nobles added.
Air Jamaica will continue to provide service from Jamaica on the New York, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto, Baltimore, and Philadelphia routes with what the airline’s President describes as “the usual Lovebird hospitality.”