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Saint Lucia, JetBlue Airways pursuing VFR market


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Contact: Bevan Springer

 

Wednesday,  October 14, 2009   Airline and tourism officials, who are counting down the days until JetBlue Airways touches down at Hewanorra International Airport in Saint Lucia, believe the Caribbean-American Diaspora will be an important part of the success of the thrice weekly service between the island and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

 

Saint Lucia's Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Senator Allen Chastanet said the new service, beginning on Monday, October 26, 2009, gives Saint Lucians and other Caribbean nationals abroad a new option to "come back home and visit loved ones," participate in the 2010 Homecoming celebrations, as well as experience the new and recently renovated hotels, resorts and attractions that are on offer.

 

"JetBlue complements the existing airlift to the island, and with available airfares significantly lowered between New York and Saint Lucia, the airline makes Saint Lucia that much more accessible to residents of the Big Apple, including our vibrant and upwardly mobile Caribbean-American constituencies," said Senator Chastanet. He added that with JetBlue's high level of service and affordable pricing, "we look forward to welcoming even more New Yorkers and residents of the Tri-State area to our shores."

 

Marty St. George, JetBlue's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Commercial Strategy, said that while each and every customer is important to JetBlue, VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) traffic has been a major contributor to its success and Caribbean expansion. "Last year was a superb year for JetBlue in the Caribbean," reported St. George who looks forward to introducing new St. Lucian and West Indian travellers to the JetBlue experience.

 

The airline executive said JetBlue believes its unique value proposition - including providing more legroom, more free entertainment and more friendly service - differentiates the carrier within the industry. "We remain committed to building our brand on an unrivalled customer experience, something that we share with the island of Saint Lucia," said St. George, who will lead a group of JetBlue executives on the inaugural flight from JFK Airport on Monday, October 26, 2009.

 

For September and October, JetBlue expects its Caribbean capacity will be up by more than 50 percent year over year, largely due to the launch of new Caribbean markets, including Barbados as well as Kingston and Montego Bay in Jamaica. "Given the relative strength of our Caribbean markets, we believe it is prudent to continue to pursue opportunities there," added St. George.

 

JetBlue will operate its Saint Lucia service with spacious 150-seat Airbus A320 aircraft. The A320 offers travellers all of the amenities for which JetBlue has become renowned: complimentary seatback television programming including free first-run movies on flights to and from the Caribbean, comfortable leather seats, lots of legroom, unlimited free snacks and industry-leading customer service.

 

About Saint Lucia

One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies' Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the eastern Caribbean archipelago. The "Helen of the West Indies," Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - a tropical rainforest and one of the world's few drive-in volcanoes. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Saint Lucia Jazz festival. Saint Lucia's wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties. For information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1 (888) 4-STLUCIA, or visit www.saintlucianow.com.

 

JetBlue Airways starts new non-stop flights from New York to Saint Lucia on October 26, 2009!


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