Air Jamaica`s Vice President of Marketing and Sales is calling on Caribbean-Americans to support their own regional carriers, Air Jamaica and BWIA West Indies.
Addressing the Caribbean-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry`s
(CACCI) “Entrepreneurs of the Year” celebration in New York at the beginning of May, Allen Chastanet said that without air service, the economies of the region cannot thrive. “Don`t be tempted by lower prices on other carriers,” he cautioned, explaining that without Caribbean carriers, quality of service will be compromised and prices will eventually soar.
Chastanet was “very heartened” that the Caribbean governments, particularly Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica, continue to support national carriers in these difficult times. The Government of Jamaica recently agreed to swap US$300 million in debt for an increase in equity in Air Jamaica, up from 25% to 45 %.
“It`s not much different in the United States,” Chastanet observed, pointing to the financial and strategic support the US Government offers domestic carriers.
The airline executive thanked CACCI President Dr. Roy Hastick for his efforts to unite the Caribbean-American community in New York, and supported his vision of a Caribbean Trade Center to promote trade and investment between the US and the region.
“Until the Caribbean community in New York unifies itself and demonstrates through a bricks and mortar approach that we are a market to be reckoned with, we will never be respected,” Chastanet warned. He encouraged nationals to become US citizens and vote for officials who are sensitive to the concerns of Caribbean people.
The Air Jamaica VP spent his time in New York promoting Air Jamaica`s new inflight menu options to the press, and visiting Brooklyn-based travel agents.
The new menu offers Mackerel Run Down and Callaloo and Saltfish along with other local and international favourites. Free Real Rock beer and Yardy Shandy have been added to the airline`s award-winning champagne flights. Air Jamaica is currently offering sale fares up to 25% off and discounts of up to 50% off excess baggage charges.