Fly Jamaica increases passenger and cargo capacity – Director Reece
FLY Jamaica landed its newly-acquired Boeing 767 at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport last Friday as the Guyanese-owned company continues its expansion within the aviation sector. Roxanne Reece, Fly Jamaica’s Director explained at a press briefing at her office at the Ogle International Airport on Saturday that the wide-bodied aircraft will transport comfortably 246 passengers, while the 757 only has the capacity for 19 but both aircraft has 12 first class seats. She said “for the market, this means we have 245 extra seats because the 767 has 245 seats and it is a wide-bodied aircraft.”
She noted that this means also more space for cargo and with the upcoming Christmas season, “we can afford passengers additional ‘pounds’.
It was explained that passengers are already allowed two check-in pieces. Reece emphasised that the aircraft are owned by the company and not leases and the company has designated the Boeing 767 and 757 to work along the Guyana route since this route has received much interest.
Reece also noted that she understands that persons prefer a non-stop flight but she said “if you fly with American Airlines or any other airline that is not local, they are not creating the jobs” while our company is.”
Fly Jamaica, she added, operates a direct flight which simply means it has one stop in Jamaica because for the aircraft to land in New York “we have to perform a final TSA (Transportation Security Administration) check.”
The Director disclosed that the company will soon be launching their cargo service, utilising the services of an existing cargo handler, Amerijet, in Guyana. Additionally the carrier is also eyeing the Bridgetown, Barbados and Montego Bay, Jamaica markets for the New Year.
Speaking on the investments that the company has embarked on, Reece noted that in the aviation sector the company has to train and retrain staff. Only recently it trained their flight attendants in security and “this in itself is an investment.” She noted too that at present the company directly employs 40 staff but that does not include the other arms of the business.
Reece noted that security remains paramount at the company. Therefore, the airline has its own security team that is being trained on an ongoing basis to detect endangered goods. With the new cargo service that is soon to be implemented, the airline will continue to keep its excellent track record, she said.
Fly Jamaica has embarked on their own ambassadorial project by reaching out to a number of Guyanese singers and performers, Reece noted. In addition, the company is also lending support to several local charities.