Executives of Fly Jamaica have been invited to expand their operation with flight services that will operate in Brazil. The Guyanese–owned Jamaica-based airline is believed to be working on its strategy to service a major city in that South American nation.
Airline Director Roxanne Reece told GuyanaAviation.com in a telephone interview that the company was invited to a conference with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) a few months ago and the offer to the Portuguese speaking port was put to them.
She explained that the meeting was attended by representatives of a few Caribbean nations, including the Bahamas and Jamaica; major players in the Caribbean tourism market. In the Bahamas for example, she explained that 3000 additional rooms were built and needs to be filled. For this reason discussions are ongoing on locating markets and providing transportation for those who want to travel.
It was pointed out that Brazil which has a population of just over 200 million people, was one of the areas looked at. Of that 200 million, eight percent travel externally. Since the airline already services Guyana, which shares a boarder with Brazil, it was assumed that the airline could be part of a win-win situation.
In the meantime, the company is still working towards putting the measures in place. Mrs. Reece was unable to say when the project would be off the ground but noted that it would be, “as soon as possible”.
Fly Jamaica is expected to commence operation with its recently acquired Boeing 767 aircraft this year. The new plane will complement the company’s existing Boeing 757. Speaking to the Jamaican press, the airline’s CEO, Mr. Ronald Reece was noted as saying that to service Brazil would be a plus since the acquisition of the new plane will demand that the company look to new markets to fill plane seats.
He pointed out that there are millions of people in major cities within the South American nation that want to travel. Negotiations are therefore ongoing, while further discussions were held with tour operators and other relevant service providers that operate in the country.
It was noted that Fly Jamaica has been operating at a 70 percent rate and has been managing. They say however that it will take several years more before actual returns can begin to roll in from the company’s capital investment. The company hopes to have two 767s and 757s as part of their fleet. The new plane seats almost 250 passengers.
The airline currently services, Guyana, and Jamaica, with flights to international cities; Toronto and New York. While the company is said to employ some 240 Jamaicans, close to 100 Guyanese also work with the carrier.