US tour operator Vacation Express is to introduce a second seasonal charter link from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and boost capacity on its existing route to meet expected stronger demand for leisure services from the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana.
The company, one of the largest tour operators in the southeast US, will introduce a weekly seasonal non-stop link between New Orleans and Montego Bay, Jamaica from May 17, 2014 offering travellers an alternative option of reaching the Caribbean. This is our third international route introduced from New Orleans in the last two years.
Mayor of New Orleans
The Jamaican flights will be operated by a Miami Air Boeing 737-700 with seating for 150 passengers (8 First Class and 142 Coach seats) and will operate to a schedule that offers an early morning departure from New Orleans and late afternoon return, giving holidaymakers more beach time on the first and last day of their break.
Vacation Express successfully offered non-stop service to Cancun, Mexico from New Orleans during last summer. The carrier offered a weekly link between May 26, 2013 and August 11, 2013 using a 124-seat 737-700 of Aeromexico, offering a two-class arrangement with 12 First Class and 112 Economy seats). The tour operator says this service will resume in summer 2014 but with twice weekly flights.
"This announcement is proof of the growing demand for service in the New Orleans region as we continue to build a world-class airport. The additional flights will introduce exciting new destinations for those traveling to and from our region and we believe the service will be well received by our community,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
This will be the first non-stop scheduled link between New Orleans and Jamaica, a market that already generates around 10,000 bi-directional O&D passengers, despite a lack of direct flights. According to MIDT data, an estimated 14,000 passengers flew on this route in the year ending November 2013 with an origin or destination in Kingston or Montego Bay on the Caribbean island. This was a rise of 3.8 per cent compared with the previous 12 month period with American Airlines the dominant carrier (54.8 per cent).