Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Air Jamaica pulls out of Miami

Less than two months after returning to Miami, Florida, Air Jamaica is pulling out of that gateway again.

Today is the airline's last day in that North American city.

Efforts to book seats from Norman Manley International to the Miami International Airport (MIA), last night proved futile, with availability up to the 31st of January.

The airline returned to the busy airport on December 9 last year, almost three years after cutting the route.

It is not clear what has forced the hands of the former national carrier so soon after its return. However, in early December its parent company, Caribbean Airlines, aggressively tried to woo passengers with introductory rates as low as US$79 one-way plus taxes.

But at least one of the major travel agencies on the island confirmed that the loads were extremely light, and that affected the airline badly.

"They were fortunate if they had 35 or 45 people on board daily," said an agent from the company.

He said the flight times were unsustainable.

"I never even tried to sell that flight because it just wasn't attractive enough. They needed an early morning and late evening return to cut it."

On its return, the airline had announced four weekly flights with plans to increase the frequency to a daily schedule come February.

It is not uncommon for the airline to drop major United States cities from its roster, having chopped locations like Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago and Baltimore from its route in the past.

The only US cities now served by the airline are Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, New York and Philadelphia.

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