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First Officer Charles Cooke (left) and Captain Richard Carter (right) flank their all Barbadian in-flight crew, (from left) Antonio Goring, Faith Bourne, El Holloway, Samantha Jack and Sonia Goodman.

 
   

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JetBlue will not fail, says minister

10/2/2009

A commitment has been made to ensure that JetBlue does not join the graveyard of failed American carriers to this island.

Making this promise, Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, gave the assurance, “We will do all we can do to ensure that JetBlue continues to come to Barbados as a government.”

“We will do what is necessary to ensure that the plane stays up in the air. All too often, we have these inaugurals and no sooner than the water from the fire engine falls on the tarmac, you find that the plane can no longer fly [because] it hasn’t been marketed properly and we know that there is a graveyard of many flags, unfortunately particularly US flags, that have come here and have stopped because we haven’t done all that is necessary to ensure that they stay in the air,” he stated.

He was speaking at the airline’s inaugural reception at the Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday and noted his expectations that the partnership with JetBlue would help to breathe life into a “sluggish” US market.

“We are very happy to have a partner like Jet Blue as we seek to expand opportunities for developing greater levels of arrivals from the US and by extension the entire of North America,” he stated.

Sealy said, “It is not easy dealing with partners who are simply looking at the black entries on the balance sheets or a quick buck, but rather someone who sees a long-term relationship as having a good opportunity for us.”

On board the fully-booked flight, was an all-Barbadian in-flight crew, and according to the minister, the launch of this new service has already signaled the “excitement” of the diaspora in New York.

He noted therefore that JetBlue would not only be dealing strictly with the traditional tourist market, as many Barbadians living in that city would be interested in coming home for a visit.

“If that is any indication of the partnership and the outreach we can have in the diasporic community, I think we can have wonderful thing,” he stated. (JM)

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