Published:Friday 12:49 AM
Air travel to Jamaica rose in November through the port that connects to the tourism gateway in Montego Bay, but dipped in Kingston where passenger flow tends to be more related to business travel and visiting relatives. The tourism ministry…
Air travel to Jamaica rose in November through the port that connects to the tourism gateway in Montego Bay, but dipped in Kingston where passenger flow tends to be more related to business travel and visiting relatives.
The tourism ministry expects a busy winter tourist season and the data from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay supports that forecast, while Norman Manley International Airport’s passenger flows were flat after surging in October.
Passenger traffic through Sangster grew eight per cent to 376,000 in the month, outpacing the 348,000 recorded in 2019, according to the Pacific Airport Group, which controls Jamaica’s two largest international airports. Flows through Norman Manley, or NMIA, in Kingston dipped marginally by one per cent to 132,000 in November from 133,000 in 2019.
Arrivals in 2022 have been growing above 2021 and 2020 levels since the start of the year. Then in mid-2022, the pickup in traffic began to mimic and inch above flows in the record pre-pandemic period.
The recovery from the fallout from COVID-19 is still ongoing, however, but the tourism ministry expects the winter 2022-23 season to welcome 29.6 per cent more travellers than in 2019.
The trend in 2022 shows arrivals growing month over month except for arrivals in Kingston, which fell in November. Kingston also might be suffering from the easing of traffic from a bumper October, which witnessed a 39 per cent rise in total passengers to 140,000 from 101,000 in 2019.
Montego Bay, in October, recorded 10 per cent more passengers, hiking the numbers to 317,000.
Between July and September, GAP data reviewed by the Financial Gleaner shows that both local airports generated US$51.9 million in combined revenue, or about 1.0 billion Mexican pesos. That’s up from US$33.4 million, or 648 million pesos, a year earlier.
In the September quarter, Montego Bay accounted for US$33.1 million of revenue and made US$25.3 million in operating profit.
GAP operates 14 airports, with 12 in Mexico and two in Jamaica. The Jamaican airports are managed through MBJ Airport Limited and PAC Kingston Airport Limited, also known as PACKAL.