Latin American airlines have committed to more flight to Jamaica, including non-stop flights from Peru, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has said.
“Latam is the largest airline in Latin America with over 1,200 flights a day and Copa is one of the largest with hundreds of flights per day. Both are moving to add flights to Jamaica, with Copa moving to daily service into Montego from Panama City starting July and Latam close to operating multiple weekly flights into Montego Bay from their huge Lima, Peru hub.
“This will ease travel for many vacationers from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and several other markets,” Bartlett explained. “The implications of these increased flights will be significant for the expansion of growth in South America.”
The minister held talks with officials from Latam and Copa airlines in Argentina and Chile, respectively. Bartlett is also reportedly seeking to expand the island's relationship with Colombia's Avianca to increase weekly flights.
“The meeting is the strongest signal that the Latin American market is now going to come into its own. We could see three flights per week between their Lima, Peru hub and Montego Bay, Jamaica within 12 months,” Bartlett said.
“With Copa Airlines... four flights a week into Kingston, Latam's entry would increase to 14 the number of non-stop flights out of Latin America into Jamaica every week.”
Bartlett projects that the island's visitor arrivals from Latin America will reach 60,000 by 2021.
Jamaica Tourist Board Director Donovan White added that the organization will undertake an aggressive campaign to grow the relationship between the island and the largely untapped Latin American market.
Though approximately 10,000 visitors were recorded from Argentina and Chile annually – accounting for the most arrivals from Latin America to Jamaica – air cost and direct connectivity has significantly restricted the number of South American arrivals to the island.
In addition to the talks with Copa, Latam and Avianca, Bartlett and his delegation will are scheduled to meet with tour operators, media advertisers, government officials and travel agents.
“Latam is Latin America's leading airline group, with one of the largest route networks in the world; offering air service to around 140 destinations in 25 countries, and is present in six domestic markets in Latin America — Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, in addition to operations elsewhere around the globe. It transports 67 million passengers per year,” Jamaica's tourism ministry's senior advisor Delano Seiveright reiterated.
According to aviation reports, Latam has one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the world.
The minister and his delegation will wrap up their visit to South America on April 26.