There is a mounting excitement within the diaspora in parts of North America, as JetBlue presses ahead with plans to fly the Grenadian skies.
News of heightened anticipation overseas is being reported by Elizabeth Ninomiya, JetBlue’s Manager of Corporate Communications for Latin America and the Caribbean. She was part of a visiting delegation from JetBlue who met with tourism officials in St George’s on Tuesday to finalize plans for the inaugural flight in June. She says the Grenadian Diaspora in New York is “elated” that the airline will be servicing their homeland. “…Especially because it’s in June. This will give them plenty of time during the summer holiday to come and visit family, as well as come over and enjoy the carnival. They are quite excited,” Ms Ninomiya said.
JetBlue will fly one round-trip flight on the route each Thursday and Sunday on 150-seat Airbus A320 aircraft. Tickets have been on sale now for a month and the airline’s representative says bookings have been favourable. “The bookings are actually going quite well. It’s been according to our expectations, so we are quite excited about that we are seeing so far.”
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Yolande Bain-Horsford says there is great anticipation for the touchdown of the New York-based airline and once the twice-weekly flights begin, great things are expected for Grenada’s tourism industry. “We are all excited JetBlue is a renowned airway and we are enchanted by their coming to Grenada. Having spoken to many people from different walks of life here in Grenada, they too, show their excitement and they want to welcome them to our shores,” Minister Horsford said.
Playing a pivotal role in getting JetBlue to come to Grenada is Sandals LaSource. General Manager, Peter Fraser, says the island stands to benefit from the upcoming direct flight from New York. “It’s all good. This should be good news for everybody who has a hotel or a business, whether it is a hotel or a self-starting restaurant. We want to be at a place where there will be two flights a day… it’s all very good,” Mr Fraser said.
Tourism officials hope this will open up the way for direct flights from other US cities such as Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.