Fly Jamaica’s July application to offer direct flights between Guyana and NYC was denied by the U.S. Department of Transportation on September 30, 2013. The application was denied despite the warm relationship Fly Jamaica enjoys with the country of Guyana, and the fact that no other carrier currently offers direct service on that route.
As a new airline, and one that is widely regarded as the successor to our dearly departed Air Jamaica, one can’t help but wonder if this was a poor business decision on the part of Fly Jamaica’s management. The heart, the passion, the optimism, the very pride of the Jamaican populace across the world is invested in this airline. It is regarded as one of our few sources of pride and self-ownership. Not to mention the rave reviews that their personnel elicits, and the food! Everyone talks about the food! Which, as Jamaicans, is critical to the success of everything. Yes, we are passionate about our food.
Yes, everyone knows that this is a privately held airline. But, yes, we all claim it as our own. Who didn’t feel that faint familiar pride the first time they saw that likkle Fly Jamaica plane sitting on the tarmac at Norman Manley International Airport months before they even started operations? Who didn’t take pictures or immediately call or tweet, or text that they saw the Fly Jamaica plane?
Management, the key to your success is very simple. Capitalize on the pride that you’ve re-instilled in the people of Jamaica around the world. You know the most traveled routes in and out of Jamaica, you know the destinations in the U.S. from which hundreds of people travel weekly, but from which there are no direct flights. Expand your routes to these destinations as opposed to diluting your service by seeking to expand throughout the Caribbean at this formative stage of your development. Give the people of the country whose name you wear more opportunities to Fly Jamaica. We want to.