Atlantic Southeast Airlines plans Kingston-Atlanta route
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) plans to launch chartered flights between Kingston and Atlanta in an effort to capitalise on the closure of Air Jamaica's Atlanta route.
The carrier is now in the final stages of its application, which makes an allowance for public objections.
"If there are no objections then they will get the permit to operate from September 11 to December 13," said
Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson Jennifer McDonald.
Million Air was the first airline since January this year to offer direct charter flights from Atlanta to Kingston and Montego Bay. The CAA had issued 62 charter permits to 45 carriers worldwide since January to offer service to
Air Jamaica pulled out of its loss-making Atlanta route last year, arguing that the company could use the aircraft on a more productive route like New York. Air Jamaica operated one daily flight from Atlanta, but could not fill its planes. The airline said if it had more connections to more US cities it could feed traffic into Jamaica from Atlanta. ASA, meanwhile, connects to 113 airports in 31 US states, the District of Columbia, Bahamas and Canada.
"I got petitions and received all manner of complaints, but there just weren't enough Jamaicans in Atlanta to warrant the route," Nobles said in a recent Business Observer interview.
ASA started operations 30 years ago. ASA was 20 per cent held by Delta Airlines until the major carrier acquired ASA outright in 1999 before selling it to SkyWest in 2005. SkyWest made US$9.3 million in net income in the first quarter of this year, a 67 per cent decline in profit over the same period last year. SkyWest stated that it has significant long-term lease obligations not reflected as liabilities on SkyWest's consolidated balance sheet. At a 6.2 per cent discount rate, the value of these lease obligations was approximately US$2.1 billion as of March 31, 2009.
ASA plans to fly a CRJ-900 plane on the Kingston route, with a 76-passenger capacity.