American has announced a brand-new route to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, speeding up access to key tourist destinations.
American Eagle will launch its third destination in Jamaica.
In what doesn’t appear to be an April 1st hoax, American Airlines has announced it’ll begin brand-new service from Miami to Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Envoy will operate it for American Eagle, and it’ll be American’s third destination in Jamaica. It comes after the carrier has served the country for 45 years.
The new route to Ocho Rios will be for the broad area, its renowned beaches and other natural pursuits, and for cruise ships. It’ll also enable quicker and easier access to higher-end places and resorts closer to Ocho Rios rather than flying into Montego Bay or Kingston.
Ocho Rios (OCJ) joins American’s service to Montego Bay and Kingston. Image: GCMap.
While flights aren’t yet bookable and the flight schedule isn’t known, Miami to Ocho Rios is expected to begin in November, operate 2x weekly, and use Envoy’s 76-seat Embraer 175s.
Ocho Rios’ airport is called Ian Fleming International Airport. It takes its name from the James Bond creator and writer, and the area is of significance to the brand and various movies, including Goldeneye. There’s even a James Bond Beach and Goldeneye report nearby.
The James Bond reference isn’t lost on American. It has said it’ll use the flight number AA4007, but will passengers be served martinis – shaken, not stirred?
Interestingly, the airport has a very short runway. Designed more for turboprops and smaller bizjets, it is just 4,769 feet (1,454m) and only 79 feet (24m) wide. However, elevation is 90 feet (27m), helping performance on the 551-mile (887km) link to Florida.
What a brilliant location! Photo: via Ian Fleming International Airport.
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The first scheduled US route
Over a decade ago, Jamaica’s then prime minister Bruce Golding said the expansion and renaming of the airport – previously called Boscobel Aerodrome – were to “attract high-end tourists.”
It has taken a long time, but it is now coming true. American’s new route is the first time Ocho Rios has had scheduled service to the US and scheduled jet service.
But it won’t be the first time it has had scheduled operations. According to OAG, Air Jamaica Express served the airport until October 2005 using Dash-8-300s and Twin Otters. More recently, Jam Air Express and interCaribbean Airways served it on domestic routes with Twin Otters.
In December 2021, interCaribbean Airways said it’d begin Ocho Rios’ first international route, with service to the Turks and Caicos. However, that doesn’t seem to have started.
Will you be using the new route? Let us know your thoughts about it by commenting.
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