It has been a long and winding 40-year journey and now the little piece of Jamaica that flies is back. Two strong brands, Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines, are now joined together in one airline to serve Jamaica and the Caribbean. On January 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 Boeing 737-800
“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.”
One Caribbean airline, two brands: How will it work?
Air Jamaica will be dedicated to flying routes into and out of Montego Bay and Kingston, Jamaica to New York (JFK), Philadelphia, Toronto, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami in North America and Nassau, The Bahamas. Caribbean Airlines with its hub in Port of Spain Trinidad flies to New York (JFK), Philadelphia, Toronto, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami in North America; St. Maarten, Antigua, Barbados Grenada, Tobago and Kingston in the Caribbean; Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela in South America.
As a national airline, Air Jamaica gained a strong loyalty from Jamaicans and on the flip side, cultivated an exotic quality with vacationers signaling a start to their vacation when they came aboard. The new Air Jamaica promises to deliver the service they love and more for the best value and amenities with no nickel and diming. Vacationers can pack their bags – two in fact. The free baggage allowance in effect for all passengers at all times is two checked bags and one carry-on, with a 70lbs weight limit for each bag in Lovebird Executive Class and 50lbs each in Lovebird Economy Class. There are no additional fees for booking online; tickets can also be purchased at Air Jamaica counters at its destination airports. A solid frequent flyer base will continue to benefit from the 7th Heaven Rewards program offering liberal upgrades, free tickets and more. Passengers experience Air Jamaica’s famous Lovebird hospitality from the moment they board, whether they are on vacation or heading home.
After cost-cutting measures that allowed Air Jamaica to weather challenges in the marketplace, management has singled out areas that will both save and deliver improvements. Savings will accrue with economies of scale, most visible in the dual branding and common staff at shared airline check-in counters, and their collective uniforms differentiated by a vivid and recognizable branded scarf or tie. A new fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft is on the horizon scheduled to be in operation by the end of April 2011 improving 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.
A new advertising campaign with the tagline Air Jamaica—Everything You Love and More is underway, with the new livery on the tail at the roundabout at Norman Manley International Airport a welcome sight.