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Goodbye Fly Jamaica Airways, Hello Fly Oriole

Goodbye Fly Jamaica Airways, Hello Fly Oriole
Taylor Rains

It has only been a year since Fly Jamaica Airways ceased operations, but the country is already looking to launch a new low-cost carrier called Fly Oriole. According to the countdown on its website, the airline plans to begin operations in February 2021, serving both domestic and international markets. So far, the only detail disclosed about the fleet is that it will be leased; however, the carrier has released a press image of an A380 sporting the company logo – could the airline be eyeing the double-decker for these short/medium-haul routes?

Where Will it Fly?

According to the airline’s website, the company’s short-term goal will focus on daily routes between Kingston Airports and Montego Bay International Airport. Furthermore, it plans to serve domestic routes to Negril, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio, and Turtle Beach, as well as international routes to major Caribbean islands, including Cuba, Haiti, and Grand Cayman. Long-term goals include flights to South America and additional Caribbean destinations, including Antigua, Barbados, Curacao, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Who’s Running the Show?

The airline will be chaired by Jamaica’s former Minister of Tourism, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, and the CEO will be Keith Karr. Ndombet-Assamba explained in a press release, “I knew from the time when I was Minister of Tourism that Jamaica has been a graveyard for airlines. We probably remember Trans-Jamaican Airlines, Jamaica Air Shuttle, Air Jamaica Express, Air Jamaica and most recently Fly Jamaica Airways. They have all come and gone. I hope like me you will be persuaded that now is the time for a bold new vision for the aviation sector in Jamaica.”

Kerr added, “The Jamaican market is booming and is ripe with the right proposition to have great success. Starting an airline is perceived to be difficult, as airlines in this country [are normally] started by people who are passionate flyers rather than people who are passionate business people. The problem with prior operators is that they have always started undercapitalized.” He went on to reveal that the carrier has already received 80% of what it needs from Jamaican and European investors and intends on obtaining the rest within the year. As he stated, half the battle is finding the capital to start, so if he can solidify the funds he needs, then he’s got a real shot.

What’s with the A380?

It doesn’t seem like best business practice to operate an A380 between Caribbean countries, much less domestic routes from Kingston to Montego Bay, so I’m not sure what the airline’s purpose is behind releasing the image. According to the A380 compatibility map, Jamaican airports are not set up to handle that large of an aircraft; however other Caribbean airports can, such as Panama City (PTY), Punta Cana (PUJ), and San Juan (SJU). According to interviews with Kerr, he explained that high capacity results in lower airfare, so maybe the jumbo jet is in his long-term gameplan.

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1 Comment

  1. psusaver

    February 12, 2020 at 5:47 am

    You’re sure they didn’t use the first result that came up in an image search for “airline”?

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