The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted a waiver for Air Jamaica, in partnership with Caribbean Airlines of Trinidad and Tobago, to enter the US under the Transitional Services Agreement between the two airlines, which is scheduled to take effect on April 30.
The waiver is for a period of 60 days, effective April 15, during which time the Air Jamaica/Caribbean Airlines operations will be able to fly into and out of the US. The waiver was granted without opposition from other US-bound carriers from both Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
The DOT, in its confirmation of the granting of the waiver, said it was disinclined to allow uncertainty about whether AirJamaica is able to continue its US operations under its current authority, pending a formal resolution of the implications of the transition.
Transport and Works Minister, Mike Henry, in announcing the development today, said it should allay fears of any immediate operational hiccup in Air Jamaica’s US operations under the transitional agreement with Caribbean Airlines.
The minister also noted that Caribbean Airlines has prepared an application under the Open Skies agreement with the US. He said the processing time for such an application is very short, sometimes only a single day. He noted that full access to the US for Caribbean Airlines will ensure that the T&T-based carrier can smoothly service the existing Air Jamaica routes in the future.
“Amidst all the concerns and negative projections which were raised in some quarters recently, I can now confirm that the matter has been resolved and there should be no difficulty for Air Jamaica to access the US going forward, and for Caribbean Airlines to do so, as required, thereafter,” said Minister Henry.