Jamaica;Bartlett bullish over scheduled direct flights from Sweden

Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, addresses journalists during Tuesday's (September 3) Press Conference at the Ministry in New Kingston. (Photo: JIS)

MINISTER of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says he is very encouraged by the planned start of flights between Sweden and Jamaica later next year.

VING, operated by Sunclass Airlines, will run direct flights between Stockholm, Sweden and Montego Bay, Jamaica, twice weekly starting November 2022.

The flights will run through March 2023 as part of the winter season 2022/23 schedule. VING will operate nine rotations, each carrying 373 passengers, on an Airbus A330-900neo.

Bartlett recently wrapped up the United Kingdom leg of an international markets blitz which resulted in the finalisation and announcements of several new flights and other tourism-related development updates.

“We are delighted with VING’s decision to resume direct flights to Jamaica next winter. We are encouraged by the tour operator’s trust in our destination and their charter service will significantly increase Swedish visitors, who usually stay on the island for 14 nights,” said Bartlett.

Sweden occupies the greater part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, which it shares with Norway, and is one of the coldest countries in the world. It has a population of approximately 10.3 million with per capita income of US$55,000.

“Since reopening our borders last summer our destination has continued to welcome visitors safely and seamlessly. We are prepared and resilient and have been meticulous in our preparations for visitors in the post-COVID-19 world.

“Jamaica’s tourism sector continues to lead the recovery efforts for the island’s economy, and I am pleased to report that we are making steady progress towards the full recovery of our sector,” added Bartlett.

VING offers scheduled flights to Jamaica for travellers wishing to escape the cold during the winter.

The programme includes accommodation offerings across 25 resorts and hotels, from Montego Bay to Negril. The selection consists of beach resorts, all-inclusive resorts, family resorts including a children’s club, and adults-only hotels. With direct flights from Stockholm to Montego Bay, Swedes will experience the perfect Caribbean vacation next season.

According to Donovan White, Jamaica’s director of tourism: “It is safe to say that tourism is steadily rebounding and the demand for Jamaica is high. We are very pleased that tour operators such as VING believe in ‘Destination Jamaica’ and we look forward to welcoming their passengers to enjoy a truly unforgettable Jamaican experience in an environment which is safe, seamless and secure.”

Also weighing in on the potential impact these new flights will have, was Claes Pellvik, head of communication at the Nordic Leisure Travel Group.

“Nordic Leisure Travel Group is happy to come back to Jamaica again with non-stop flights Stockholm-Montego Bay for the upcoming winter season 22/23, especially since our previous customer feedback has always been excellent for our Jamaica programme. What is new is that we will operate our brand new Airbus A330-900neo from our own Sunclass Airlines,” said Pellvik.

“This state-of-the-art aircraft will reduce CO2 emissions by 23 per cent and, at the same time, enhance the passenger experience. We see Jamaica as being a perfectly positioned destination for the future with its focus on well-being, a vast selection of interesting activities and culture to explore, and a fantastic hotel product on offer,” he added.

Senior advisor and strategist in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright, in noting the growing successes in the tourism space, stated that: “The global markets blitz through Jamaica’s largest source markets – including the United States, Canada and the UK – reaped massive successes in dramatically boosting airlift to the island and reassuring stakeholders of the COVID-19-related safety of the destination.

“By the end of 2022 Jamaica’s visitor numbers are expected to total 3.2 million, with cruise passengers accounting for 1.1 million and stopover arrivals accounting for roughly 2.1 million, while earnings are projected at US$3.3 billion.”

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