For Immediate Release

Contact: Bevan Springer + 1 201 861-2056

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CAPTION: Allen Chastanet (right) and St. Kitts Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism Ricky Skerritt during a Caribbean Week in New York event.


NEW YORK (June 16, 2006) – Former Air Jamaica executive, Allen Chastanet has added his support to Air Jamaica’s new non-stop flights to St. Lucia, saying that this service is critical to the success of tourism on the island.

“The new flights which started in February couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. New York is the largest market to the Caribbean – over 60% of US visitors to the Caribbean come from the tri-state area…so having nonstop flights out of this market is imperative,” said Chastanet, who is now a Caribbean hotelier and was recently in New York for Caribbean Week activities.

Chastanet said non-stop flights help increase short-stay vacations from the US market, and can help St. Lucia once again surpass the 100,000 US visitor stay-over arrival figure and earn more revenues than it recorded last year. Now managing director of St. Lucia’s Coco Resorts, he says that continued marketing and promotion activities are critical to the future success of the new flights. “We have to keep pounding the pavement, keep promoting and tell as many people as we possibly can about what is happening in St. Lucia,” he said.

Chastanet sees Air Jamaica’s appointment of Paul Pennicook, Jamaica’s former director of tourism, to senior vice president of sales and marketing, as a move to strengthen leisure business on Air Jamaica. “I think it’s great news because at the end of the day, the largest market segment is the leisure market and in order for the airline to grow it has to be really successful on that side. Paul brings that kind of experience to the table.”

Air Jamaica offers non-stop service from New York’s JFK International Airport to St. Lucia on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, departing New York at 7:00 a.m. and arriving in St. Lucia at 11:35 a.m. On the return leg, the airline departs St. Lucia at 6:35 p.m. and arrives in New York at 11:15 p.m.

Air Jamaica provides more non-stop flights to Jamaica than any other carrier with more than 270 flights per week from Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York (JFK), Orlando, and Philadelphia in the United States, Toronto, Canada and from London to Montego Bay and Kingston. Air Jamaica also offers non-stop service between New York (JFK) and Grenada.

Air Jamaica offers intra-regional service with flights between Jamaica and The Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, Cuba, Curaçao, Grand Cayman and St. Lucia. The airline’s code share agreement with Delta Air Lines, its joint fare arrangements and compatible schedules with United Airlines, and other US carriers, extend its access to more than 150 cities within the continental United States.

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