JetBlue Airway’s inaugural flight to Grenada on June 11 is fast approaching and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), Rudy Grant said the organisation is looking forward to intensifying its working relations with the New York–based airline.
Grant reported that “very productive” discussions were recently held with JetBlue officials, who were on a two-day expedition to experience first hand what the country has to offer as well as to discuss plans ahead after the inaugural flight.
JetBlue’s Corporate Communications Manager for Latin America and Caribbean, Elizabeth Ninomiya said the visit provided an opportunity for JetBlue to “strengthen ties” with the destination.
“When we fly to a new city we don’t just fly to that city and figure that we will offer fights in and out, but rather we form a partnership with the community,” Minomiya told reporters.
“We see the destination as our partners,” she added.
Grant admitted that Grenadians living in the diaspora community of New York are excited about the addition of Jet Blue into the market in the Spice Isle.
“A lot of excitement is in the air in relation to JetBlue service – not only at the level of our stakeholder bargaining spread, who represents an opportunity in terms of traveling agents and the hoteliers, but also with Grenadian living in New York,” he said.
Grant was quick to add that “the airline provides additional seating capacity for Grenadians coming out of a major source market and in an area in the northeastern part of the United States of America (USA), where we have had significant visitors coming from.”
He also expressed optimism that “the visitor experience in Grenada coupled with the JetBlue experience is one that is going to make visitor travel to Grenada something that is very significant.”
Plans for a partnership geared at marketing Grenada as a destination were also disclosed and Grant said they are in the process of looking at which marketing initiatives will be pursued.
Ninomiya said a lot of focus would be placed locally as well as within the Grenadian Diaspora, which she described as a “very important market segment” for JetBlue.
“We are also going to promote to Grenadians living in New York” she affirmed noting that ”it’s not just about the tourist. Tourists are very important but Grenadians are just as important. So we are trying to work with the people that speak to these different market,” she added.
JetBlue’s PR Manager, Anders Lindström said Grenada’s new position on the US market has been creating a “buzz” in terms generating increase visitors to the island.
He spoke of the airline’s “great spectrum of customers traveling from Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Long Beach,” among others within the Caribbean, with Grenada being the airline’s 90th destination overall and 32nd destination in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Plans for the inaugural flight of JetBlue into Grenada is still in the preliminary stages and Lindström also expressed hope that “it would be one of the best we have ever had at JetBlue.”
While an exact cost is not yet confirmed, essentially, JetBlue is boasting lower airfares compared to other air carriers and much more value for money.
“So it’s going to be a significantly lower fare” for the JetBlue experience, “ which also includes “unlimited snacks and entertainment.”
A technical team from Jetblue is currently engaged in setting up booth at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) at Point Salines St. George’s for flight into Grenada.