WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) – People are circling the date on their calendars for the takeoff of a new nonstop flight from Bradley International Airport in Jamaica.
From December, Spirit Airlines will make the route available. Flight will not only be about sunshine and fun, as it opens the door to great commerce.
The West Indian community recently celebrated their heritage with a grand parade in Hartford. The capital region has the fifth largest West Indian population in the country.
Andrea Kiddie says: “We are really delighted. Really excited for this flight.
At the Dunns River Jamcian restaurant in Hartford, the buzz is not above the oxtail. These are non-stop flights from Connecticut to Jamaica, where pleasure and business will meet in the foreground.
Mark Brown, owner of Jamaican restaurant Dunns River, explains: “I like the idea because we have to wait for the product to reach New York and Miami before it gets here. We want to come right here to us first.
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Executives recently announced four times a week that flights from the island would go between Bradley International Airport and Montego Bay on Spirit Airlines.
Commissioner David Lehman of the Department of Economic and Community Development worked successfully on the logistics. “I have heard the expression that it takes a village. You could say it takes an island,” Lehman said.
The Caribbean Business Council began talking to heads of state about this link over a decade ago.
Leaders say there is such a large West Indian population here in Connecticut that they think it will be a success. However, the state has reached an agreement with the airline in case things don’t take off.
There is $2 million set aside in the state budget to subsidize the airline with the deal spanning two years.
“Whether it’s for people who want to visit family, people who might do business directly on the island and come back and then do business in Connecticut, or just for travel and recreation. You might see a lot of exciting developments here,” State House Speaker Matt Ritter said.
Lawyer Tanya Dorman says when families have a death, everyone leaves and heads to Jamaica for the funeral. “It’s just culturally important to people on the island.”
There will be 200 flights per year to the island, which will greatly facilitate Connecticut residents planning to travel to Jamaica.
“I have many clients who are buying real estate in Jamaica. They do different things. Sometimes they can’t go there physically. So for me, it’s easier to go back and forth to get documents signed,” Dorman added.