CaribWorldNews, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thurs. April 8, 2010: The April 12th takeover of Air Jamaica by the Trinidad and Tobago-owned Caribbean Airlines has been pushed back.
Chairman of Air Jamaica, Dennis Lalor, yesterday said Jamaica`s national carrier had agreed to the extension from April 12th to April 30th.
He said this will ensure that sufficient time is devoted to completing the negotiations, which will result in the route networks of both carriers being combined.
Lalor explained that the result would be the creation of `a larger, stronger Caribbean airline to serve the region.`
`The extension is also intended to ensure a seamless launch of the operations into the transition period,` he added.
During the transition period, Air Jamaica will continue to operate its routes with its current fleet of aircraft and accompanying regulatory authorizations, said Lalor. Many of Air Jamaica employees are also expected to be utilized under the interim agreement, he added.
The transition period may last up to 12 months, says Air Jamaica`s President and CEO, Bruce Nobles, who has also assured passengers that, in the meantime, `the little piece of Jamaica still flies.`
He said that all reservations made previously and tickets purchased on Air Jamaica will continue to be honored. Additionally, all 7th Heaven frequent flyer benefits will continue and all passengers, shippers and business partners can continue to rely on Air Jamaica to provide the services they have come to expect.
`In simple terms, our customers and stakeholders will not see any visible difference in the airline, or its services during the initial transition period, as Jamaicans, visitors, shippers and travel partners can continue to book on Air Jamaica with confidence,` Nobles said.
He stated that as the routes are absorbed by Caribbean Airlines, the combined network will provide significant added value and benefits to customers and partners.
Air Jamaica will continue to provide service from Jamaica on the New York, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto, Baltimore and Philadelphia routes, with `the usual Lovebird hospitality,` Nobles promised.