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Foreign Airlines Enter The Caribbean But Dismiss The Marketplace

Commentary By Robert Singh

CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. May 22, 2009: Another foreign airline has reportedly begun flying to Jamaica without so much as an ad with any Caribbean media.

JetBlue this week announced it will now have a direct route to Montego Bay, St. James and will add another Caribbean route from JFK to Barbados, beginning October 1.

So where is the marketing dollars in the Caribbean media or with events that support the Caribbean American community? 

The dismissal continues and Caribbean people, like sheep, continue to sit idly by and allow themselves to be used all over again. The governments of these nations who sign off on these approvals too must be held to task, since it seems there is no inclusion of a promotion clause.

American Airlines, Delta, Continental and Virgin are among the carriers flying to the Caribbean, yet no marketing dollars is being spent in the communities they serve, especially the vast Caribbean American community in New York.

Guyanese have no problem flying Delta, even though Delta has yet to spend a dime with any of the local media or support a local event.

The same is true for the other carriers and Jet Blue is no exception.  Jamaicans should ensure they send a strong message to JetBlue – that their dollars cannot be taken for granted. Spend money with those who support us and keep it in the Air Jamaica family.

Air Jamaica, despite its struggles, continues to support most media and event in the Caribbean Diaspora without fail. Now it`s up to JetBlue to show its true colors and really earn the support of Jamaicans. 

It cannot be business as usual. The Caribbean American community is not a bunch of fools who can be used and taken for granted over and over again. Let’s quit sitting on the sidelines and demand that if JetBlue wants to serve the Jamaican community, that it proves it by supporting those within.

EDITOR`S NOTE: Robert Singh is a NYC-based Caribbean national and former airline worker.