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Change is in the (Caribbean) Air

New routes and new names in air travel are taking off around the Caribbean skies this summer. The changes bring connections between islands and airports that did not exist previously, or additional options to existing services. Whether you are returning to familiar island destinations from outside the region, traveling between islands as a Caribbean resident, or exploring new places around the region, some of these expanded or changed routes might figure in your own planning soon.

Probably the most extensive change to keep in mind: the takeover by Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines of most of the routes of the former Air Jamaica . For travelers, that means some better connectivity between Caribbean Airlines’ existing routes and those of the former Air Jamaica, so for instance destinations that were exclusive to the former Air Jamaica — such as Montego Bay, Nassau, Grenada, Philadelphia, Toronto are now integrated under the wider Caribbean Airlines banner which previously had its own set of exclusive destinations such as Miami, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Maarten, Guyana and Suriname.  The result should be easier managed connections for travelers between cities and islands that are now all on Caribbean Airlines’ expanded route map.

While the old logo of Air Jamaica is set to disappear, a new one has already debuted, based on Tortola, British Virgin Islands with the launch of  BVI Air in May. With routes eastward to points in Antigua, St. Maarten and Dominica, this latest inter-island start-up is providing some new links between the BVI and other islands in the Antillean chain that will benefit residents and inter-island travelers alike. Other notable comings and goings in Caribbean air scheduled services this summer include the takeover of the old Kingston to Nassau route of Air Jamaica by Bahamas-based Western Air, and the opening of direct air links from Atlanta into Montego Bay and Nassau by American low-cost  carrier Air Tran.

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