One Caribbean airline; two brands

Air Jamaica.

The rollout of the New Air Jamaica brand in the New York tristate area was faciliated recently at the Russo’s in Howard Beach. It was at the very same venue a year ago, the Caribbean community, members of the press, and CARICOM diplomatic corps assembled for an information session pertaining to the fate of Air Jamaica and the privatization plans for the airlines.

Bruce Noble, then president of Air Jamaica, had the daunting task last year, to advise the packed banquet facility of the final divestiture and privatization plan; that Air Jamaica would operate for just another year under the brand Air Jamaica before being phased out, and that the existing fleet will not be utilized by the new owners, Caribbean Airlines.

It was through well-thought out, passionate, and animated exchange with Mr. Nobles, the management team of team of Air Jamaica, and the community; the importance and power of the brand Air Jamaica was again emphasized, and that if this is overlooked by the decision makers, it would translate to significant loss of revenue from the already loyal and supportive Jamaican diaspora base. Simply put, Air Jamaica is a piece of Jamaica that flies, “a fiwee airline,” was the sentiment that ran the gamut that evening.

With rethinking the brand strategy and importance of the brand Air Jamaica, the owners of Caribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica decided at best to reposition their entity as one Caribbean airline with two distinct brands: Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines.

On Jan. 14, 2011, Caribbean Airlines re-launched the Air Jamaica brand with a ceremony at Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport with the arrival of the newest aircraft in the Air Jamaica fleet. This Boeing 737, wrapped in Air Jamaica’s new livery featuring the airline’s iconic signature colors and Doctor Bird paired with the Caribbean Airlines logo and the Hummingbird, presented a vibrant demonstration of this new partnership.

Air Jamaica, the little bit of Jamaica that has been flying for 40 years, will now continue to fly as its own distinct brand. One Caribbean airline, two brands working together for the Caribbean.

Having been voted “The Caribbean’s Leading Airline” for 12 consecutive years, Air Jamaica’s ambitious route network and competitive pricing made it a beloved national airline embraced by the Caribbean and vacationers worldwide. Today, the same award-winning customer service, attention to value and generous loyalty program are reenergized. A new livery will emblazon a new fleet scheduled to be in operation by the end of April 2011.

For its loyal fans Air Jamaica remains “Everything You Love and More,” offering the most non-stop flights between the U.S. and Jamaica with more than 160 weekly flights, including service between Jamaica and Toronto, Nassau, New York (JFK), Philadelphia, and Fort Lauderdale.

Caribbean Airlines with its hub in Port of Spain Trinidad flies to New York (JFK), Toronto and Miami in North America; St. Maarten, Antigua, Barbados Grenada, Tobago and Kingston in the Caribbean; Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela in South America.

“As Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines began the transition towards one Caribbean airline, it became clear that even as the outward signs of Air Jamaica were phased out in the marketplace, loyal passengers remained confident in the signature travel experience it delivered,” says George Michael Nicholas III, chairman of the Board of Directors, Caribbean Airlines Limited. “Caribbean Airlines believes in the brand value of Air Jamaica and we are very excited about revitalizing and reintroducing this historic brand. We are committed to the work ahead to ensure a performance-driven future and to restarting the conversation with our customers to let them know that Air Jamaica is back.”

Promised is a new fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft scheduled to be in operation by the end of April 2011 in order to improve on-time performance as well as the overall passenger flight experience. Future developments include new code share agreements and new routes with London already under consideration.

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