6.2 million passengers at Jamaican airports


6.2 million passengers at Jamaican airports

Friday, July 12, 2019

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Jamaica recorded 6.2 million passenger movements at the island's international airports in 2018. This represents a five per cent increase from the 5.9 million passengers recorded over the corresponding period last year.

The Sangster International Airport (SIA), Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) and the Ian Fleming International Airport (IFIA) recorded a total increase in all passenger categories with arrivals expanding by 4.9 per cent, departures by 4.8 per cent and in-transit by 14 per cent.

The higher passenger traffic was a result of growth at the two main international airports, the SIA, by 5.8 per cent to 4.5 million passengers and the NMIA, by 2.8 per cent to 1.6 million passengers while a fallout of 63 passengers to 1, 227 was recorded at the IFIA.

According to the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Economic and Social Survey for 2018, the introduction of new air service initiatives, expansion in services by some airlines, improvement in passenger load factor and the high room occupancy levels of the local tourism industry contributed to sustained improvements in the local aviation industry.

These, complemented by the ongoing infrastructure works, as well as strategic actions to increase passenger traffic through the airports, provided the necessary boost for enhanced growth in the transport industry.

“Consistent with Outcome 9 (Strong Economic Infrastructure) of the country's long-term development plan, the Government continued its strategic focus on the expansion of the country's domestic, international and air transport infrastructure and services,” the report stated.

aN additional boost resulted from increased demand, due to the slow pace of recovery in the neighbouring islands that were affected by hurricanes.

Important to note is the 4.3 million visitors to Jamaica in 2018 which represented an increase of 42,411 people relative to 2017. The main contributor to this, according to the PIOJ survey, is the increase in the stay-overs by 5.1 per cent.

The report also indicated that a high number of arrivals were from the island's main source market, the US. Europe registered an increase during the year, while stay-overs from Canada fell.

According to the PIOJ, Jamaica's transport industry is expected to grow in 2019 due to the increased activities at the island's air and sea ports.

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