In Loving Memory of Air Jamaica

The writing was already on the wall when I made my first post about the Air Jamaica issue in February in which I talked about the trouble the airline industry was in and comparing the similarities but differences between the demise of Air Jamaica and Japan Airlines. As expected Japan Airlines has hit the reset button and is rising from the ashes but Air Jamaica is now dead, so excuse me while I say my part as I spout random crap at it’s makeshift funeral.

Lovebird drank from the fountain of debt

Air Jamaica was formed in the late 1960’s in time when Jamaica was a newly independent nation, with high expectations and a leader in our region. For over four decades Jamaicans were proud of our “Lovebird” as it brought passengers to and from our beautiful Caribbean shores. As of May 1st 2010 Air Jamaica is now officially a part of Trinidad owned Caribbean Airlines and over the next few months will be absorbed into it’s new parent company. Years of mismanagement and a mountain of debt is the reason and it just makes me angry that no one (or group) has been held responsible for Air Jamaica’s demise.

The video embedded above shows a image slideshow of a collection of Air Jamaica related images taken over the years including some from when the airline was just launched showing it’s classic colours and first set if air hostesses. I live in downtown Kingston, across the harbour from the Norman Manley International Airport, when I just moved to where I live now I enjoyed going on top of my roof and using a binoculars to watch the planes take off and land in the distance. There was a special appreciation, fondness and heart warming feeling whenever I saw the Air Jamaica planes but those days are coming to an end. It is also interesting to note that Air Jamaica has never had a fatal accident throughout their existence.

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Didn’t know of Air Jamaica’s demise when I was posing Double O Gundam here

My only Air Jamaica experience

So long Air Jamaica, fortunately I had the opportunity to to fly with you, albeit once, when I when to the states in 2008 so I dug up some photographs I took on both legs of the trip from here in Kingston and on my way back from JFK. I thought I was just an over excited first time flier geeking out as I took photos of my trip and different aircraft. Some of the better looking Air Jamaica related ones I have attached below.

Who knew pink, gold, orange, blue and white would look so good together?

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I blocked off everyone from boarding the plane for a few sections when I took this shot ^_^

Heading to New York before take off

Jetting down the runway with downtown Kingston in the background

Air Jamaica plane at JFK airport

Famous lovebird tail featuring Jamaica’s national bird

Arriving back in Kingston

Touchdown! Perfect scores on the landing back in Kingston

In Loving Memory of Air Jamaica

Jamaica Observer Editorial – No Golden Parachute for Air Jamaica


7 thoughts on “In Loving Memory of Air Jamaica

  1. it was truly a sad day for the nation. [sob]

    i would wonder why no one was held accountable, but too many people ravaged it over the years, including many of those involved in the sale…

  2. I am very sorry about this unpalatable news.
    Mismanagement is one of the greatest enemy in our current economic affairs


  3. [sob] [eek] [cry]

    Oh God. I felt sad before but now I feel like crying. Air Jamaica was so distinct in its colours, style, flair. It tended to be late, but you got where you were going safely and with a smooth landing. It burns me to think of how Butch Stewart essentially ran it into the ground single-handedly.

  4. Happy to see someone being so enthusiastic about flying. I flew over 30 times, I still like it, but it became more of a routine [angel]

  5. Ok I am not gonna get sobby over this thing as enough has been said. We will surely miss the good stuff about Air J…like actually having real food onboard (unlike pretzels/peanuts on some other airlines which will remain nameless – cough cough – American – cough cough); being able to check in a box as a piece of luggage; a little reassurance that the ground crew will try their best to get you on the flight even when you’re running behind – “this is the final final call for passenger K Davis, please board your flight immediately using gate number 2”; 100% assurance that you will arrive safe and sound and with no risk of a bomber, a runway overrun, a heavy bounce on the landing, being shot down over Cuba etc; and of course the (pardon my chauvinism) super hot and sexy flight attendants who are usually warm and friendly even when having to be strong and fierce – “ma’am for the last time, please return to your seat, we are moments from landing” or “no sir, we cannot give you a third helping of ackee and saltfish”

    But let us also remember that owning an airline is a treacherous business, many large ones much older and better capitalised than AirJ have struggled or tanked (Pan-Am, TWA, Eastern, BWIA, Sabena) or continue to struggle but survive thanks to all sorts of tactics like merging (Delta/Northwest, United/Continental, Air France/KLM) or massive government subsidy bailouts (SAA, JAL, Air NewZealand, Caribbean Airlines).

    So it was good while lasted; it could not be sustained. Let’s move on. Maybe our next best patriotism should be to support a Caribbean carrier. At least we are part owners in Caribbean Airlines. Maybe all the countries should get on board and help to make that airline truly one for all the people of the Caribbean taking in the best of all the ones it absorbs…you will see that the hummingbird is already on the tail.

    And if you don’t like it, here’s an idea be like Richard Branson of Virgin…go start your own!

  6. I see the author has ground knowledge it the topic as well as some practical experience.
    Such type of information is more valuable than copypasted blog posts

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