Reggaebird
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More News On Air Jamaica

Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:45 am

I found this very interesting article in the Jamaica Gleaner:

http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20061124/business/business36.html

_____________________________________________________

Government Plan For Air Jamaica Raises Public Concerns
published: Friday | November 24, 2006


Air Jamaica's CEO, Michael Conway, and Jamaica Finance Minister Omar Davies will shortly seek Cabinet approval of a new restructuring plan for Air Jamaica. The plan is now known, officially, to include restarting several USA routes that were shutdown in 2004 as well as a change of the airline's fleet from Airbus to Boeing planes. This component, in particular, has led to very vocal opposition from citizen groups under the impression that the fleet swap would decrease safety. This is the latest in a long list of efforts to stem the losses and bring viability to the government-owned carrier.

Ministry of Finance Addresses Safety Concerns

Portions of the plan that were leaked to the public last month revealed that the carrier was considering replacing its Airbus aircraft with those from US-based Boeing due to poor performance, reliability and economics. According to Minister Davies, "The reports were controversial in that they implied we were going to replace new and safe planes with old and unsafe ones. The public expressed its concerns and we have since clarified the situation." Mr. Davies revealed that the US plane-builder is offering the carrier late-build 757, early-build 777 and new-generation 737 aircraft that fly farther and carry more freight than the present European fleet. "Boeing have made some interesting presentations and we need to act quickly if we decide to pursue the options," he said.

Air Jamaica moved fully to an Airbus fleet in the mid to late 1990s, when the airline was controlled by Gordon 'Butch' Stewart's AJAG Group and the Government had a minority stake - first 25 and then 49 per cent. At the time Stewart boasted that not only did Air Jamaica have the newest fleet in this region, but defended the shift to Airbus on grounds that the mainly A310, A320 and A321 aircraft were more efficient to operate and most suitable for Air Jamaica's routes. AJAG claimed, too, that it had good lease arrangements.

Threat of Closure

During its decade of ownership by AJAG, Air Jamaica lost nearly US$800 million, including US$113 million during the last year of Stewart's control in 2004. Stewart, however, blamed much of the accumulated loss on problems beyond his group's control, including, during the early period, restrictions on where Air Jamaica could fly in the U.S. because of weak regulatory oversight in Jamaica, and then a decline in global travel and high fuel price that followed the terror attacks in the United States in 2001.

When the Government took back the airline, Davies promised to cap government subsidies at US$30 million annually, but Air Jamaica lost US$136 million in 2005, a situation that caused the IMF, in a July report, to repeat its long-held view that perhaps radical surgery was necessary. "If Air Jamaica's restructuring plan failed to improve finances, the authorities may need to reconsider the merits of maintaining a flag carrier," the IMF said.

Davies, however, suggested that closure of Air Jamaica, which transports nearly 50 per cent of Jamaica's passengers and about a third of all tourists to the island, was not an option for the Government at this time. Jamaican officials, across administration, have insisted that the airline is crucial to the country's key tourism industry. "It is a pragmatic position," Davies said. "We have seen in other areas where other airlines use their monopoly positions (after the collapse of national carriers) to push up fares to the detriment of countries."

Birds of a Feather...

Other Caribbean carriers are not faring much better. BWIA, of Trinidad and Tobago, is in its final days before shutdown and the startup of its fresh-start successor, Caribbean Airways. A merger between Air Jamaica and BWIA has been floated, and rejected, in the past. Davies indicated that nothing like that was on the agenda at this time, but suggested that there were possible areas of cooperation. "There are possibilities, for instance, in the standardisation of fleet," he said.

BWIA mainly flies Boeing aircraft having pulled back in the late 1990s from an intended move to an all-Airbus fleet. Sharing part inventories and technical personnel would possibly be an advantage if Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airways were to standardise their fleet.
______________________________________

[Edited 2006-11-28 02:47:16]
 
BWIA 772
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:16 pm

This is an interesting development. I wonder if they have talked to their Trinidadian counter part especially interms of 737 training and maintenance. Hey Caribbean Airlines may want to make a joint order they may expand their fleet sooner than expected if the rates are good.
Eagles Soar!
 
beeweel15
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:17 pm

Quoting Reggaebird (Thread starter):
early-build 777

The possibility of a B777 in JM colors is extraordinary I can hardly wait.
 
beeweel15
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:34 pm

Quoting BWIA 772 (Reply 1):
Hey Caribbean Airlines may want to make a joint order they may expand their fleet sooner than expected if the rates are good

Possibly some of the 737's that caribbean are returning could go to JM
 
drerx7
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:36 pm

Restart cities cancelled...Houston maybe? for a 3rd time...
Third Coast born, means I'm Texas raised
 
BWIA 772
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:39 pm

Quoting Beeweel15 (Reply 3):
Possibly some of the 737's that caribbean are returning could go to JM

It could be a possibility but I doubt it. It seems as if JM is dealing directly with Boeing while Caribbean Airlines is dealing with ILFC.

Regards
Eagles Soar!
 
beeweel15
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:50 pm

Quoting Reggaebird (Thread starter):
Sharing part inventories and technical personnel would possibly be an advantage if Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airways were to standardise their fleet.

This can save both carriers money on one end but they do compete on the other end especially in the eastern caribbean and while BW/Caribbean are scaling back this would be giving them and others to gain marketshare. So lets hope they do more than that.
 
ILSApproach
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:10 pm

Can't wait for my yearly Feb trip to Negril via Mo BAy!!!

That new teminal addition at MJB is great, especially the view facing the city.those large windows, floor to ceiling are nice too!

Quite a few airlines serving MJB now..........AA, COA, Delta, NW, US Airways, UAL, Spirit, Sun Country, Condor, AC, Thomas Cooke, USA3000, First Choice, LTU..........even Virgin has been flying a 744 into MJB daily. I know I forgot a few......mostly Euro charters in the peak season, and added freq of Us carriers. You gotta love that Virgin 744 and 6Y A340 landing and taking off 8500' of runway!!!!

Put in MKJS into arrival airport on Flytecomm.com ..............also works for Asian and Euro airports too!!

Mike @ MSP
 
ILSApproach
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:19 pm

Still wish Air Jamaica would add MSP! It is still the largest originator of charter flights to warm climates in North America!! I meant 6Y A340.

Mike @ MSP
 
Aviator27
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:56 pm

I know the A321's lack the cargo capacity Air Jamaica needs. The only airplane that can fulfill that role is the B757. A lot of VFR traffic carry plenty of cargo back to Jamaica, and the B757 can carry a lot of cargo. Perhaps some B787-3 are in the future of Air Jamaica. That is the rumor I have heard anyhow. The A340's are going to be replaced by B777. I'm not sure where the B737 fits into the line-up. Regards.
 
JAM747
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:49 pm

On previous trends here it was highlihted how much money JA spent on sending excess baggage by truck to other airports because some of their planes could not carry the load. Many Jamaican who return especially for the holidays need to have their bagage with them especiallyt when travelling with children. I have heard that their current short leased 757s have done very well for them.
 
Reggaebird
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:18 am

Quoting Beeweel15 (Reply 2):
Quoting Reggaebird (Thread starter):
early-build 777

The possibility of a B777 in JM colors is extraordinary I can hardly wait.

I wonder if these are some of the A-market machines from United, British Airways or Cathay.

Reggaebird
 
CHRISBA777ER
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:32 am

Quoting Reggaebird (Thread starter):
the US plane-builder is offering the carrier late-build 757, early-build 777 and new-generation 737 aircraft that fly farther and carry more freight than the present European fleet.

An early build 777 that flies farther and carries more freight than an A340-313X?

European fleet?

Sounds like some good old US-backslapping to me.
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
md90fan
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:34 am

Quoting Aviator27 (Reply 9):
The only airplane that can fulfill that role is the B757

The 757 would IMO be ideal for routes to JFK, MIA, ATL (only with DL codeshare), FLL and YYZ.

Maybe JM should consider acquiring some Q400s or a smaller jet to increase frequencies cities in the Caribbean such as NAS,CUR,BON and Grenada.

Just my  twocents 
http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/
 
Reggaebird
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:42 am

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 13):

The 757 would IMO be ideal for routes to JFK, MIA, ATL (only with DL codeshare), FLL and YYZ.

Delta announced last month that they are canceling their codeshare agreement with Air Jamaica.
 
Reggaebird
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:48 am

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 12):
An early build 777 that flies farther and carries more freight than an A340-313X?

European fleet?

Sounds like some good old US-backslapping to me.

How is this US-backslapping? Why is it any different than the old owner touting the Airbus fleet as "more modern and safe"? Despite what I suspect is your inference of partisanship on the part of the airline's leaders, it seems that Jamaica has given both Airbus and Boeing a backslap at different times. Could it be that they are actually interested in what's right for the airline?

Thornton
 
Lumberton
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:15 am

Quoting Drerx7 (Reply 4):
Restart cities cancelled...Houston maybe? for a 3rd time...

IAH? I can only hope! JM has one of my favorite liveries. However, I am completely mystified as to why they would change out their fleet. What's the benefit? Can't they renegotiate the terms on their Airbus fleet?
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
captaink
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:39 pm

According to what I was told, they are dropping the narrowbody airbus fleet, in favour of B757s for select routes out of Jamaica, and routes in the eastern caribbean.

They are also looking to acquire B737s, but 300/400 models. Yes I raised my eyebrows to that as well.

The A340 would be kept for the while, whilst a replacement aircraft is found, most likely the 767 and not the 777.

Waiver: I am just repeating what I was told, but the person is a very reliable source.
There is something special about planes....
 
MAH4546
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:00 pm

Quoting ILSApproach (Reply 8):
Still wish Air Jamaica would add MSP! It is still the largest originator of charter flights to warm climates in North America!! I meant 6Y A340.

Yeah, for some odd reason, people in Minneapolis take the very Canada/Europe approach towards packaged vacations and charter flights very favourably, wherareas in most of the US it isn't that popular.
a.
 
Reggaebird
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:25 pm

Quoting Captaink (Reply 17):
According to what I was told, they are dropping the narrowbody airbus fleet, in favour of B757s for select routes out of Jamaica, and routes in the eastern caribbean.

They are also looking to acquire B737s, but 300/400 models. Yes I raised my eyebrows to that as well.

The A340 would be kept for the while, whilst a replacement aircraft is found, most likely the 767 and not the 777.

Waiver: I am just repeating what I was told, but the person is a very reliable source.

Is your source more reliable than the Minister of Finance of Jamaica and the CEO of Air Jamaica?
 
CHRISBA777ER
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Wed Nov 29, 2006 6:05 pm

Quoting Reggaebird (Reply 15):
Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 12):
An early build 777 that flies farther and carries more freight than an A340-313X?

European fleet?

Sounds like some good old US-backslapping to me.

How is this US-backslapping? Why is it any different than the old owner touting the Airbus fleet as "more modern and safe"? Despite what I suspect is your inference of partisanship on the part of the airline's leaders, it seems that Jamaica has given both Airbus and Boeing a backslap at different times. Could it be that they are actually interested in what's right for the airline?

Wind your neck in Thornton - I was merely inferring that stating that European jets dont carry as much freight, have as much range etc smacks of US Backslapping to get a better deal. How they run their airline is up to them, but I suspect the Boeing models they are talking about (ie: the 772ER) are out of reach financially.
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
captaink
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:47 pm

Quoting Reggaebird (Reply 19):

Is your source more reliable than the Minister of Finance of Jamaica and the CEO of Air Jamaica?

His info didn't vary much from the newspaper article. The only difference was that he said they are not looking at the 777s anymore, the 737 would be older models (something I find very hard to believe) and that the 757s would be on Eastern Caribbean routes, ie, UVF, GND, BGI and select routes out of MBJ.

Thee first two points, I will wait to see, the the 757 point I understand and imagine it to be true, as the 757s leased for the summer was used on GND/JFK and MBJ/JFK.

Not comparing reliability of sources, just repeated what I was told.
There is something special about planes....
 
Jetfixr757
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:02 am

Well something had to give, for years i was told how Airbus was jamming AJ on parts and support. My years of Boeing experience i think they will be fine. Should have shifted fleets years ago. Greed and the short carrot can be a detriment.
Jet
 
coa747
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:33 am

Why would Air Jamaica order and aircraft that had insufficient cargo/baggage capacity for the routes it was to be used on. That is a great business strategy use an aircraft that is too small and then pay extra to have bags shipped to another location for transport. I guess we are beginning to understand why Air Jamaica is exerpiencing such financial difficulty with decision makers doing stupid things like that.

Reminds me of a story my uncle told me regarding Cathay. Cathay used to operate the A340 on the Sydney run. That flight went out full most of the time and given the A340's range and payload Cathay often could not carry pax luggage in order to make the trip without stopping. My uncle who was an 747-400F pilot got to be very familiar with the Sydney run as for a while they had a cargo flight timed to leave with the A340 pax flight. The reason being the pax bags had to be thrown on to the freighter so that the A340 could make Hong Kong. Very efficient use of resources don't you think. Requiring two aircraft to do the work of one. There are some people inside Cathay who dispute that Cathay has ever made any money with the Airbus A340-300's or 600's for that matter. But that is a topic for another discussion.
 
captaink
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:04 am

Quoting Coa747 (Reply 23):
Why would Air Jamaica order and aircraft that had insufficient cargo/baggage capacity for the routes it was to be used on. That is a great business strategy use an aircraft that is too small and then pay extra to have bags shipped to another location for transport. I guess we are beginning to understand why Air Jamaica is exerpiencing such financial difficulty with decision makers doing stupid things like that.

I hope JM learnt something from this airbus aircraft. Having worked with JM in GND, I can tell you this. Come summer and winter, those A320s came in heavy. At times they used A321 to carry more pasengers. The problem lied in the fact that caribbean nationals travel very heavy so with an A320 we had up to 100 bags shortshipped, worse at time with the 321. Sometimes flights after would be lighter so bags would be shipped few by few. Other times they had to be trucked to MIA and from there Amerijet or DHL would use a 727 to get them to the eastern caribbean. Very expensive.

But they do plan to use the 757 in the eastern caribbean so that should take care of that problem. As to what type of 737 they get, who knows. More than likely i suspect it would be NGs. But that would be used on routes out of MBJ known for tourists and not so much the VFR traffic.
There is something special about planes....
 
2travel2know
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 5:30 am

JM has the problem that they're an Airline for a 2 International Airport island - which in the event that would ever have a awesome road/railroad system - One of the 2 could be dropped/downgrades or a brand new one could be built to serve the whole island.
JM also has the problem that they cater to 2 different markets at the same time, the mostly leisure market to/fr MBJ and the business/VFR market in/out of KIN.
These problems make it very hard to keep a profitable airline with a fleet commonality which is to be affected by passenger base dependent on Leisure and VFR.
If Jamaica wants to keep JM alive, the Jamaican government (Finance Ministry, Tourism Ministry) and the Tourist sector will have to make very tough sacrifices and a complete JM extreme make-over.
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
 
Reggaebird
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:19 am

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 25):
JM also has the problem that they cater to 2 different markets at the same time, the mostly leisure market to/fr MBJ and the business/VFR market in/out of KIN.

I don't see this as a problem at all. More business for JM.
 
A388
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:28 am

Quoting Captaink (Reply 17):
They are also looking to acquire B737s, but 300/400 models. Yes I raised my eyebrows to that as well.

The A340 would be kept for the while, whilst a replacement aircraft is found, most likely the 767 and not the 777.

 checkmark  Precisely what I am thinking. Secondhand 733/734 aircraft and 763 for longhaul. If the 733/734 is indeed chosen it is a step backwards for JM but I don't know about the 763. It seems like the perfect aircraft but it might be limited in passenger and cargo capacity at peak season periods such as winter and summer and maybe even springbreak!  Smile

Even so, I wish JM the best of luck and I'm secretly looking forward to seeing a JM 757 touch down here in CUR. The 757 is such a beautiful aircraft in my opinion Big grin

A388
 
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ERJ170
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:43 am

Quoting A388 (Reply 27):
If the 733/734 is indeed chosen it is a step backwards for JM but I don't know about the 763.

I've been thinking about the 733/734 arrangement and I am starting to think it is actually a brilliant move.

They can get some medium capacity aircraft like the -300 and -400 for probably about 8 Mil each.. and that is the bottom line. It's within their price range without causing them to go into the red. I think it's probably a wise move to get what you can afford and still have money left over to actually run the airline until it can be run into profitability. Hopefully they will have enough money to be able to run JM for at least 5 years before an expected profit.

Add to that they can probably get more aircraft for their money and it sounds like a win-win situation to me!
Aiming High and going far..
 
A388
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:06 am

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 28):
I've been thinking about the 733/734 arrangement and I am starting to think it is actually a brilliant move.

It could be a good move if JM can get the 733/734 in good condition and not crappy aircraft which I am afraid of. The 733 isn't the youngest aircraft around anymore and the 734 is reaching that point too in my opinion. Maintenance wise I don't know if the 733/734 are a good move but at the same time maybe the A320 aircraft family was too expensive to maintain for a small airline like JM?

In a nutshell I have my mixed feelings about JM acquiring the 733/734s. It has its pros and cons in my opinion.

A388
 
boeingguy1
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:16 am

I usually dont toot my own horn when it comes to stuff like this, but it needs to be said. I have a very personal high ranking Jamacian official in my family, and he said to me outright that the Jamacian government is sick an Tired of giving millions to JM when the monies are so badly needed elsewhere- roads, education, assistance, etc... if theres no turnaround, a shutdown and/or bankruptcy and turn around ala BWIA/Carribean Airways we might see... again, I dont usually do this, just putting in my 2 pence, eurocoin, cent.
Gatwick South! Id rather crash in Brighton!
 
A388
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:56 am

Quoting Boeingguy1 (Reply 30):
the Jamacian government is sick an Tired of giving millions to JM when the monies are so badly needed elsewhere- roads, education, assistance, etc... if theres no turnaround, a shutdown and/or bankruptcy

If true I can imagine your argument. Our national airline (LM/K8) also went bankrupt unfortunately because of the government not willing to invest more money in a loss making airline as the financial resources were also getting limited unfortunately.

A388
 
JAM747
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:05 pm

Did JA ever try to get some of the later A300 -600 models? I know they had some of the older 4B models at one point but I think that the later A300-600 models would have done better than the A320s. The A300 definately has better cargo capacity and is one reason AA uses them to the Caribbean. They are even better in some ways for cargo than the 767, however the 767 ER models might be better for longer range routes. I would love to see the 757 or 767 in JA colors. I think one of their A340s is going through maintenance in Germany does anyone know which type of aircraft will be filling in for the A340?
 
captaink
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:33 pm

Quoting JAM747 (Reply 32):
Did JA ever try to get some of the later A300 -600 models? I know they had some of the older 4B models at one point but I think that the later A300-600 models would have done better than the A320s.

JM got rid of the newer A310s also better for the VFR market than the 320 in an effort to achieve more fleet commonality. Many times the A310s were used on the Jamaica/New York route as well as Eastern Caribbean / NY route. But the A310 though airbus was becoming and oddball in their fleet and a narrowbody fleet of 320/321s and widebody of A340 was thought to be a better idea.

Bear in mind however, that even though JM served VFR markets in Jamaica and the Eastern Caribbean, alot of focus was put into carrying passengers to the Sandals hotel chain. Butch Stewart being in the hotel industtry in my opinion neglected the special needs of our region in favour of focusing on tourism.

Someone on this post mentioned that JM serves two distinct markets, but that can work just fine. In fact the rumoured direction they may take with the 757s, 737s seems to be a possible solution.

Finally, if they acquire the 733s and 734s in good condtion it may work for a few years as the NGs are a bit pricey for the current financial situation.
There is something special about planes....
 
beeweel15
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:33 pm

Quoting Captaink (Reply 24):
But they do plan to use the 757 in the eastern caribbean so that should take care of that problem.

The 757 also has problems even BW/Caribbean has that problem at peak times everyone brings with them everythin but the kitchen sink. Many times I helped BW out with there LOB's at JFK. Sometimes 2 ULD of bags on the flights we operated twice a week to POS. I remember time when Dominicana had a Trailer filled with bag on the ramp many times until March or April with bags in it. And man the smell from it was horendous with all the rotting hams and turkeys folks wanted to take home. Folks would go on their trip and come back and their bags were still at JFK.
 
captaink
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:40 pm

Quoting Beeweel15 (Reply 34):
The 757 also has problems even BW/Caribbean ha

BW leases 757s as well? I was not aware. I konw the 738s also has problems with baggage though I think it is a bit better than the A320.

This past summer JM used the 757 on the JFK/GND route, and the baggage problems was almost non existant. SO I think that is a positive sign. OF course the airplane needs to be coupled with strict baggage policies. NO EXCESS BAGGAGE during peak season. THat is where the bulk of the problem lies. And by right the Excess pieces are the ones that should stay back, but sadly that doesnt always happen.
There is something special about planes....
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:00 pm

Quoting Reggaebird (Thread starter):
The plan is now known, officially, to include restarting several USA routes that were shutdown in 2004

Aside from IAH, which other US cities were scrubbed in '04'?

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
captaink
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:14 pm

Quoting Thomasphoto60 (Reply 36):
Aside from IAH, which other US cities were scrubbed in '04'?

Thomas

When was PHX stopped?
There is something special about planes....
 
md90fan
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:33 pm

I think they dropped BOS too.

A while back IIRC there was a rumor about them wanting to start SFO!
http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/
 
captaink
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:46 pm

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 38):
A while back IIRC there was a rumor about them wanting to start SFO

THey were planning on starting SFO and YVR, and ideas were on the table of acquiring A319s.

Didn't happen.
There is something special about planes....
 
jm017
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 3:06 pm

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 25):
JM has the problem that they're an Airline for a 2 International Airport island - which in the event that would ever have a awesome road/railroad system - One of the 2 could be dropped/downgrades or a brand new one could be built to serve the whole island.
JM also has the problem that they cater to 2 different markets at the same time, the mostly leisure market to/fr MBJ and the business/VFR market in/out of KIN.
These problems make it very hard to keep a profitable airline with a fleet commonality which is to be affected by passenger base dependent on Leisure and VFR.
If Jamaica wants to keep JM alive, the Jamaican government (Finance Ministry, Tourism Ministry) and the Tourist sector will have to make very tough sacrifices and a complete JM extreme make-over.

I couldn't agree more.

Quoting Reggaebird (Reply 26):
I don't see this as a problem at all. More business for JM.

At times it seems they try to serve two masters. At times they seem to neglect the VFR/Business travelers. It may be a good idea to transport a lot of tourists, but the airline will never be profitable if they focus on that traffic.
"It's okay to cheat, if you just really don't like to lose."
 
miamix707
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:10 pm

When is that Eirjet/Air Jamaica hybrid A320 going to be put in service?

Actually I'd like to see 757s in JM colors. However I still miss their A310s and A300s. I thought those planes are the ones that wore JM colors the best.

I remember when there were Air Jamaica signs on I-95 saying up to 8 daily departures from either FLL and/or MIA. I can't remember. But it seems they used to have more frequencies to s.florida some years ago.
 
Reggaebird
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:44 pm

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 28):
Quoting A388 (Reply 27):
If the 733/734 is indeed chosen it is a step backwards for JM but I don't know about the 763.

I've been thinking about the 733/734 arrangement and I am starting to think it is actually a brilliant move.

They can get some medium capacity aircraft like the -300 and -400 for probably about 8 Mil each.. and that is the bottom line. It's within their price range without causing them to go into the red. I think it's probably a wise move to get what you can afford and still have money left over to actually run the airline until it can be run into profitability. Hopefully they will have enough money to be able to run JM for at least 5 years before an expected profit.

Add to that they can probably get more aircraft for their money and it sounds like a win-win situation to me!

I think it would be a huge mistake for JM to get old 737s. The native population are very wary about that move and have taken their concerns to the government (per the article). Ignoring the home market could lead to an abandonment of JM by the natives, which would be disasterous!
 
2travel2know
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:22 pm

Quoting Jm017 (Reply 40):
At times it seems they try to serve two masters. At times they seem to neglect the VFR/Business travelers. It may be a good idea to transport a lot of tourists, but the airline will never be profitable if they focus on that traffic.

Here is a case where the interests of the Jamaican North Coast Tourist Industry clashes with the needs of most Jamaican passengers.

Quoting Reggaebird (Reply 42):
Ignoring the home market could lead to an abandonment of JM by the natives, which would be disasterous!

I totally agree, IMHO the solution to keep JM alive lies in how JM is to fulfill the needs of the home market in a manner profitable for the airline.
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
 
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ERJ170
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:17 am

Quoting Reggaebird (Reply 42):
I think it would be a huge mistake for JM to get old 737s. The native population are very wary about that move and have taken their concerns to the government (per the article). Ignoring the home market could lead to an abandonment of JM by the natives, which would be disasterous!

Well, I see two options.. black and white.. they could go for some Airbus and get further into debt to make the home team happy while still flying in the red.. or they could get some older Boeing and try to turn a profit and still be able to fly the hometeam places... I don't see an issue here..
Aiming High and going far..
 
JAM747
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:45 am

Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 44):
Quoting Reggaebird (Reply 42):
I think it would be a huge mistake for JM to get old 737s. The native population are very wary about that move and have taken their concerns to the government (per the article). Ignoring the home market could lead to an abandonment of JM by the natives, which would be disasterous!

What is the likely age difference between JA current A320s and the possible 737 -300 or -400 ? Even though some locals will be concerned about the age if they are able to travel safely, on time, with their bags at a good price I don't think they will care about the aircraft type.
 
jm017
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:48 am

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 43):
Here is a case where the interests of the Jamaican North Coast Tourist Industry clashes with the needs of most Jamaican passengers.

And the expressed desire of the airline to be profitable .
"It's okay to cheat, if you just really don't like to lose."
 
captaink
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Fri Dec 01, 2006 3:20 am

Quoting JAM747 (Reply 45):
What is the likely age difference between JA current A320s and the possible 737 -300 or -400 ? Even though some locals will be concerned about the age if they are able to travel safely, on time, with their bags at a good price I don't think they will care about the aircraft type.

If the aircrafts are in good condition, I don't the average flyer will know the difference, or care. Added to the that, quite a of the A320s I have been on from JMs fleet were not in good condition. Save for my favourite 6Y-JMK, the rest are not spanking.

Having said that, the 737s be it 300/400 or NGs, would serve the tourist markets well, as the passengers that fly these routes generally don't travel heavy, whearas the 757s, would serve the VFR routes, from Jamaica and the Eastern Caribbean. This is what JM is planning to do, and I think it would just fine.
There is something special about planes....
 
eraugrad02
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:11 am

Maybe when/if they do all of this, they will install winglets to to 737 classics to enhance the performance envelope. but ill continue reading this thread.
Desmond MacRae in ILM
 
trintocan
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RE: More News On Air Jamaica

Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:15 am

Well, it seems as though the entire Caribbean is seeing the blues insofar as their airlines are concerned. JM certainly did well in the 90s to emerge from being a small airline largely overshadowed by BW to have a newer fleet, more routes and a stronger image that in many ways outshone BW - thereby prompting it to change its livery too.

The trouble is that the needs for the tourist and VFR makets are very different and while it is possible for the airline to combine the two, it is not straightforward. While JM was under Mr Stewart it appeared as though it was primarily run to serve the Sandals and Beaches resorts as many routes were started that served purely resort destinations, such as The Turks and Caicos. These sorts of routes work well in the season but out of season are weak and tie up resources which could be deployed elsewhere. If, for example, you think about UK or European charter airlines, they shift their services around according to the season. For example, in the summer IBZ sees dozens of charters daily but once October is through, virtually none call there. This is because the island's famous club scene shuts down then and the island is not a winter sun hot spot - so the planes go to TFS, TFN, LPA and so on.

Insofar as the VFR or home crowd is concerned, JM did well to maintain that market but the task of balancing the fleet around the 2 demands was tricky. The A320 is ideal for holiday flights from North America because such flights are not particularly heavy - but for VFR purposes it is a totally different matter as we have seen. An option would have been to offer more flights and limit passenger loads on each flight to ensure all luggage went but that would consume more resources. In fact BW had taken on 2 A321-100s in 1996 despite advice that the limited-range 100s could not do JFK or YYZ to BGI and POS with full passenger and cargo loads. The newer 200s addressed some of the problems by improving MTOW.

As for Jamaica itself, the topography tends to rule out a central airport to replace both KIN and MBJ. The island has a spine of mountains, highest in the east (Blue Mountains) and surrounded by lower-lying land. KIN lies to the south-east of the island while MBJ is to the north-west. The distance between them is some 145 miles or 235km. One can fly between the two airports in about half an hour or drive, which can take several hours. The railway service expired in 1992. Jamaica actually has 6 scheduled airports - Kingston also has Tinson Pen (KTP) which handles local flights and air services also land at Boscobel (for Ocho Rios), Ken Jones (Port Antonio) and Negril.

BW actually has the same situation insofar as it serves POS, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago and TAB which is the tourist destination, albeit being on separate islands. BW however decided to abandon providing tourist airlift to TAB and left that to the European airlines such as BA and VS. It is probably not so smart to simply walk away from such potentially lucrative business but to simply use VFR passengers - and State funds - to support tourist airline services makes even less sense.

May JM find a way out of its present problems. I am sure the name will survive, as will the the livery but the losses need to stop. Nobody can afford to haemorrhage money forever.

TrinToCan.
Hop to it, fly for life!