JetBlue starts Montego Bay routes

The launch of the services demonstrates the 'strong appeal' of Jamaica as a tourist destination.

Jamaica’s Montego Bay has welcomed two new US flights, with New York-based JetBlue Airways opening routes from Newark Liberty (EWR), New Jersey, and Raleigh–Durham (RDU), North Carolina to the Caribbean destination. 

The services to Sangster International (MBJ), announced in September by the airline as part of 24 new routes to warm-weather destinations, started on Nov. 21.

Flights from RDU will operate 1X-weekly on Saturdays during November, with 2X-weekly flights planned over the Christmas period. The route from EWR will also be 2X-weekly using Airbus A320 aircraft.

“Montego Bay is part of JetBlue’s broader plan to generate cash and capture traffic on new, nonstop routes,” JetBlue international airports director Giselle Cortes said. 

“We’ve selected routes where our low fares and award-winning experience will be noticed. These new routes solidify our leading position in the Caribbean, grow JetBlue’s New York City presence in Newark and provide an additional connection to the south-east.”

Shane Munroe, the CEO of airport operator MBJ Airports, added the new routes demonstrate the “strong appeal” of Jamaica as a tourist destination.

According to data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, RDU-MBJ is unserved while United Airlines currently provides 8X-weekly flights between EWR and MBJ, increasing to 10X-weekly by early December and 2X-daily by Dec. 21. 

JetBlue and Delta Air Lines also serve MBJ from New York John F Kennedy (JFK).

The launch of the RDU-MBJ service on Nov. 21 came just two days after the departure of the first international flight to leave RDU in nearly eight months. JetBlue’s nonstop flight from the airport to Cancun (CUN) in Mexico took off at 8am on Nov. 19 with a reported 38 passengers on board.

The total number of passengers who flew through RDU in October was just over 366,000, an 18% increase over September of this year but a 71% decrease compared with October 2019.

American Airlines carried the largest share of passengers at 28% and Delta moved from third to second at 25%. Southwest Airlines and United represented 18% and 16% respectively. 

Photo credit: Visit Jamaica