Jamaica Celebrates The Return Of The Canadians

Jamaica was celebrating last weekend as government and tourism industry officials gathered at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay to welcome back Canadian visitors arriving on Air Canada’s first Dreamliner flight into the destination after a six-month hiatus.

Two hundred passengers and crew members on flight AC 982 from Toronto were greeted with a water salute on the tarmac and a lively reception upon arrival in the terminal. Travellers received a warm island welcome and met with official representatives Nadine Spence, Area Chair of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay Richard Vernon, and Odette Dyer, Regional Director of Tourism for the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).

The Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, pointed out that: “Canada is the second largest source market for Jamaica and the return of Canadian tourism in Jamaica is welcome news for our country’s hotel partners, attractions, transportation providers, hospitality workers, and the thousands of individuals employed in our tourism related industries. I am pleased to welcome the return of Air Canada to Jamaica after the six-month hiatus from January this year.”

Air Canada and WestJet are the first Canadian airlines to resume service to Montego Bay this July after months of flight restrictions in the first half of 2021. More than 280,000 air seats have been secured from Canada to Jamaica so far, this winter as travel bookings surge following the relaxation of Canada’s international travel restrictions and quarantine protocols.

The increased airlift from Canadian airline partners signifies an important step in the return of international travel and is critical for the recovery of Jamaica’s tourism sector.

Luis Noriega Benet, General Manager, Latin America and the Caribbean, Air Canada, said that: “Air Canada is very pleased to resume our passenger service to Jamaica, which we have proudly served for more than 70 years.”

He continued: “There is no doubt many Canadians are looking to travel to Jamaica for a long-postponed sun holiday. As well, there are many people both in Jamaica and Canada who are eager to visit with friends and family members they have not been able to see since the pandemic began. We look forward to welcoming everyone on board and celebrating together the rebirth of travel.”

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The Canadian Seenauth-Gangaprasad family pose with Jamaican tourism and government representatives upon arrival at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay on July 4. From left: Nadine Spence, Area Chair of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association; traveller Natasha Seenauth-Gangaprasad; Richard Vernon, Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay; traveller Vishal Seenauth-Gangaprasad; Odette Dyer, Regional Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board.