JetBlue continues to strengthen its ties with Barbados as the inaugural non-stop service from Fort Lauderdale to Barbados touched down at the Grantley Adams International Airport around 11:10 a.m. yesterday.
Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Alvin Jemmott, as well as Dale Holness, Broward County Commissioner; Mark Gale-CEO/Director, Broward County Aviation Department; Carlos Molinet, Vice President, Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB; Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue Airway; Collin Mayers & Mrs. Mayers; Petra Roach, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.; USA Director Seymour Bailey, BDO, all joined in giving the flight a jubilant send off from Fort Lauderdale for the Airbus 8320 named ‘Blue Ribbon’ for the trip.
There were plenty of celebrations which included a steel band called Pan Paradise that teamed up with Bajan Saxophonist, who is based in Boston, as well as Elan Trotman to greet the customers ahead of the flight which left Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport around 8:18 a.m.
After some speeches there was the official cutting of the ribbon.
Trotman joined the guests onboard and after playing at the front of the cabin went through the isle taking requests.
There was also seat Bingo compliments of Sun Groups with the top prize of two round tickets on JetBlue.
The wheels of the inaugural flight touched down on the tarmac of Barbados airport around 11:10 a.m. to greet the customers and officials travelling on the flight.
Saxaphonist Elan Trotman helped to bring out some more Bajan flavour in the flight which also included birthday people and couples who were coming to Barbados to get married.
In the cockpit also had a Bajan flavour with First Officer Wayne Mayers being the first to get off the plane and greet the officials waiting on the tarmac.
According to Dale Holness, Commissioner Broward County, JetBlue is Fort Lauderdale’s number one carrier and Fort Lauderdale is a great place to visit, do business and to live as it is connected to the world with its well placed harbour which links it to the Atlantic as well as inland. They are getting set to host some games in the CPL cricket with the only ICC sanctioned Cricket Stadium in North America.
The new service offers those travelling no more hassles with the transfers which usually take place in Miami.
“Its inclusion is representative of the strong ties between America and Barbados and is a natural partner as it connects more trade than any other country,” said the US Ambassador to Barbados, Eastern Caribbean and the OECS Linda Tagalialatela, who was a part of the welcoming party at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
The U.S. Ambassador explained that they were there to support sustainable economic growth in Barbados and JetBlue flights to Barbados will only strengthen that.
Robin Hayes, Chief Executive Office of JetBlue highlighted that JetBlue has been leading the accolade for Best Service in the air for 11 years.
“For too long the citizens of Barbados and the resident of South Florida have suffered from very high fairs.”
It was just over 16 years ago when JetBlue took to the air and now it has grown to where it is now.
Hayes said that the partnership with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc and JetBlue has continuity.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, “I am very happy to be a part of the inaugural flight as the commitment from the airline has been tangible and meaningful for Barbados.
With the first flight to Barbados was in 2009, it is etched in his memories as the crew was Barbadian and now the partnership continues to grow.