New homegrown airline for Jamaica
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday, August 30, 2012 – Undaunted by the operating woes of Air Jamaica and the recent demise of Barbados-based budget carrier RedJet, the investors behind Fly Jamaica Air are pushing ahead with their plans to be fully operational well before the start of the tourism high season in December.
Another concrete step was taken toward this goal with a recent test-flight for the media and selected guests to Georgetown, Guyana, in the airlines Boeing 757 aircraft, which is expected to seat 12 first-class and 186 economy-class passengers.
According to the Jamaica Gleaner, chief operating officer Lloyd Tai has said that, following a satisfactory demonstration, the airline will be given its licence to operate.
"We are required to conduct a normal flight for the process. This includes check-in and immigration as with a normal flight. We went through a comprehensive audit to ensure airworthiness but we are happy that we have been able to get the demo going despite the logistical issues," Tai was quoted as saying.
"This is the first time that an airline in Jamaica has had to go through the full certification process. Air Jamaica was here before the new regulation so all they had to do was show conformity. We have to show that we have met all the standards of the local and international regulators from the beginning," he also reportedly said.
According to Tai, upon being granted its licence, the airline has to prove “economic authority”, that is, it must prove financial viability. "They (JCAA) have to ensure that we have the means to continue operating at a safe standard. This information we have already submitted," he was quoted as saying.
He added that the operators of the airline will also have to start applying for the routes that they want to service.
The airline plans to offer full service on the chosen routes between Jamaica, Guyana, Toronto and New York.
Tai said, Fly Jamaica Airways would likely start with a three-on-three flight schedule to each destination, with a one-day downtime for maintenance.
Fly Jamaica was set to begin operations in August, however, Tai said with the remaining processes it is likely to take another month before the airline officially takes to the skies.