Jamaica spiced up JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) on May 21, as island-style celebrations took place for the airline’s inaugural flight to Montego Bay (MBJ). Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett and Director of Tourism John Lynch were present at the morning festivities and participated in a special ribbon-cutting ceremony with JetBlue’s Senior Vice President of Customer Services Rob Maruster and JetBlue crew members. Customers were also treated to live Jamaican music, refreshments from Dunkin’ Donuts and a special celebratory cake.
“We are delighted that JetBlue is operating daily flights to Jamaica. The new service illustrates our continued efforts to attract more air carriers to Jamaica, thus making it an even more accessible destination for travelers,” said Minister Bartlett. “JetBlue is a very competitive and popular airline, and we are confident that with the new daily service from New York we will continue to welcome even more visitors to Jamaica from this market.”
The inaugural flight was even more significant as many of the JetBlue crew members on board were part of the Jamaican Diaspora in the greater New York area.
Welcome to Montego Bay
The flight was received with great excitement in Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport with a water cannon salute as well as music, food, and special greetings from Jamaican officials. Representatives from JetBlue and Jamaica participated in a press conference, ceremonial ribbon cutting and offered “exchange of gifts” to signify this new partnership.
In addition to the May 21 morning celebrations at JetBlue’s Terminal 5, the Jamaica Tourist Board and JetBlue teamed up with Thrillist.com to throw a Jamaican soiree on May 20 at one of New York City’s swankiest venues, The Hudson Terrace. The evening started off on a high note with a special live performance by Jamaican reggae sensation Mojo Morgan from Morgan Heritage performing songs from his debut solo album, “Got MoJo?” and The Kevin Batchelor Band. Guests enjoyed featured Jamaican drinks and cuisine catered by Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill and got a chance to enter to win a trip to Rose Hall Resort & Spa, a Hilton Resort.
The Jamaica Tourist Board and JetBlue also partnered to create a series of promotions to create awareness of this new flight among the New York Caribbean Diaspora community. Promotions ran from May 14-17 on CNPTV, and in the New York Amsterdam News and New York Carib News, offering consumers a chance to win a trip on the May 21 inaugural flight to Jamaica and an all-inclusive stay at SuperClubs’ Starfish Trelawney Resort & Spa. More than 3,500 entries were received.
“Airport events both in New York and in Jamaica, along with specially created consumer promotions leading up to the inaugural flight, have helped build excitement and create awareness that there is an added option when flying from New York to Jamaica,” said Director Lynch. “JetBlue is yet another high-profile partner with which the Jamaica Tourist Board is thrilled to work as we continue to promote travel to our island.”
The daily JetBlue flight departs JFK at 7:55 a.m., arriving in MBJ at 10:51 a.m. The return flight departs MBJ at 11:50 a.m. and arrives at JFK at 4:39 p.m.