Bradley International Airport adds nonstop service to Jamaica

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — Spirit Airlines is adding nonstop service from Bradley International Airport in Hartford-Springfield to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and the Connecticut Airport Authority announced the new flight at the airport on Thursday.

Flights will begin launch on December 15 and will operate year-round, four times a week.

The announcement caps an effort by state officials and advocates to establish nonstop service to Jamaica from Connecticut’s largest airport.

“Connecticut has a large resident population of Jamaican ancestry, and I’m proud to announce that this long-awaited nonstop service is being added to Bradley,” Lamont said in a prepared statement. “Today’s announcement with Spirit Airlines not only makes it easier for residents of our state to fly directly to Jamaica, it also reinforces Bradley’s reputation as one of the best and most convenient airports available.” . Bradley is a key economic driver for Connecticut, and the more airlines and destinations we can add from the airport, the more attractive our state becomes for businesses looking to develop their own operations here. I am thrilled that we are partnering with Spirit Airlines to make direct travel between Connecticut and Jamaica a reality, and I look forward to the airline’s continued growth in our state.

Census data shows census data there are more than 56,000 residents of Jamaican ancestry in Connecticut, Lamont’s office said.

Connecticut State Representative Bobby Gibson and Caribbean Trade Council President Andrew Lawrence helped the airport authority bring in a Jamaican flight, Lamont’s office said.

There was $2 million in the recently passed state budget for the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development to help attract the service, according to a statement.

“Spirit Airlines is thrilled to launch its first-ever international flight from Bradley International Airport,” said John Kirby, vice president of network planning for Spirit Airlines. “We sincerely value our partnership with the airport and the growth opportunities since the service launched in 2017. We have great teams here in Connecticut and Montego Bay and have proudly served Jamaica since 2005. We look forward to providing to our customers More go.

Spirit already serves Bradley with flights to six destinations: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Miami, Orlando and Tampa in Florida and Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. Fort Myers, Myrtle Beach and Tampa flights are seasonal.

“We have been pursuing non-stop service to Jamaica at Bradley International Airport for years now in an effort to meet the needs of our community, and we are proud to finally make that a reality with the partnership of Spirit,” Kevin A. Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, said. “I have no doubt that this service will be successful, and I am proud that Bradley International Airport is able to offer convenient connectivity to the state’s large Jamaican population, their friends and their relatives.”

Bradley already offers international flights to Montreal and Toronto in Canada and to Cancun in Mexico.

Bradley has not recovered from his transatlantic flight — nonstop service to Ireland by Aer Lingus — canceled during the pandemic. Dillon said Aer Lingus is keen to return and he predicts it will happen in the spring of 2023.

Bradley saw more than 2 million passenger boardings in 2021, an 80% jump from 2020, when COVID-19 halted most air travel for months. In the spring, passenger numbers were around 10% lower than pre-COVID 2019 figures. Airport administrators believe traffic will return to pre-COVID figures within the next 12 months.

In June, Bradley unveiled a new $2.100 million ground transportation hub with rental cars, buses, and possibly someday light rail facilities. It eliminates the need for shuttle rides to rental car parking lots and was funded by a surcharge on rental cars at the airport.

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