That’s the Spirit!
Launch of Connecticut-MoBay route triggers excitement, buzz in travel sector
Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has launched the only non-stop service between the American state of Connecticut and Jamaica.
The service will see flights going between Hartford’s Bradley International Airport and the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
Chris Daugherty, director of guest experience strategy and analytics at Spirit Airlines, expressed relief that after 20 years of lobbying, the airline has been able to launch the direct route.
According to Daugherty, Spirit Airlines has been pursuing non-stop Jamaica service at Bradley International Airport for years in an effort to meet the needs of the community.
“I don’t believe I have ever seen people be so excited about a single individual route launch before, and I have worked in the airline industry for a while at this point. So, to see this finally come to fruition is a phenomenal collaborative effort, and we are positive of its success. We have tremendous teams both here in Connecticut and in Montego Bay and have proudly served Jamaica since 2005,” Daugherty said.
The year-round service will be operating four times each week.
The service was officially launched on Thursday, coinciding with the official start of the winter tourist season.
Daugherty also announced that Spirit’s existing service will be expanded in January when it resumes flights from Philadelphia to Montego Bay. The previous service was on hold as the organisation re-evaluated its network.
“I think we have a winning combination to make this route successful, so we were super happy to be able to connect both the diaspora to Jamaica directly and also any tourists that might want to come down and explore the island,” he said.
Director of Tourism Donovan White, who was on hand to meet passengers and crew on the inaugural flight, was pleased that new service commenced just in time for the winter season.
“This is a welcome addition to our airlift arrangements as we continue with the drive to further boost the flow of US visitors to Jamaica through the addition of new gateways and greater seat support,” White stated.
He added that the tourism sector was rebounding at a very brisk pace, with record arrivals and greater visitor spend.
“So this new service will also help to enhance these numbers and will increase arrivals into our tourism Mecca, Montego Bay. Furthermore, Connecticut has a vibrant Jamaican diaspora, and on the flip side, many Jamaicans trek to Connecticut for business and family engagements. They will all no doubt fully utilise this convenient service,” White stated.
According to him, adding another gateway within two hours from New York City is not only strategic, but it is a well-planned business strategy.
“Spirit is going to have a long life from Bradley to Montego Bay, and hopefully, there will be plans to add even Kingston in future years so that we continue to grow this business together and to grow the partnership together,” White said.
Spirit Airlines is a major ultra-low-cost US carrier headquartered in Miramar, Florida, in the Miami metropolitan area. It operates scheduled flights throughout the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America.