He informed that thousands of additional seats have been negotiated for the 2018/2019 winter tourist season, which will give further momentum to the market. Story Highlights Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica is poised to increase airlift into the island for a third consecutive year.He informed that thousands of additional seats have been negotiated for the 2018/2019 winter tourist season, which will give further momentum to the market.These include 38,000 more seats out of the United States of America; a record 42,400 additional seats out of Canada; 12,000 more seats from Continental Europe; and 7,455 more seats out of the United Kingdom (UK) and Northern Europe.Minister Bartlett, who was addressing day two of the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Monday (September 24), said that starting in October, several new flights will be coming directly out of Eastern Europe to the Sangster International Airport. These include Pegas Fly and Nordwind.“We are also expecting LATAM Airlines to commence early next year, and that will be a huge connection for us out of Lima (Peru), which is a major gateway in South America,” he added.He noted that Canada’s newest low-cost carrier, Swoop, a subsidiary of Westjet, will commence twice-weekly non-stop flights between the city of Hamilton in Ontario and Montego Bay, starting December 16.Sunwing will begin once-weekly non-stop flights between the city of Sudbury in Ontario and Montego Bay, starting this December and ending in April next year.“We are also going to be increasing connectivity with France. In fact, we are going to France very soon to tie up an arrangement to ensure that there will be air connectivity from Paris into Montego Bay, Jamaica,” Mr. Bartlett told the tourism stakeholders.“Additionally, on October 26, the first flight from Russia with love – a Dreamliner with 414 passengers – will come back to Montego Bay. They told me they had to increase the number of rooms in a certain Negril hotel because the flight was selling so well,” he boasted.JAPEX is the premier trade event for the travel industry locally and is a collaborative initiative between the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).Staged annually, the three-day trade show provides the ideal forum for leading suppliers in Jamaica’s tourism industry to negotiate, network, and meet with tour operators, travel wholesalers and other tourism partners from across the globe.
zoomImage Courtesy: Scorpio Bulkers Monaco-based bulker owner Scorpio Bulkers managed to cut its net loss, shrinking it to USD 5.8 million in the first quarter of 2018 from USD 34.6 million reported in the same period a year earlier.For the three months ended March 31, 2018, the company’s total vessel revenues reached USD 54.3 million, compared to USD 34.7 million seen in the first quarter of 2017.First quarter 2018 revenues were driven by high levels of demand for coal and grains for the better part of the quarter. Scorpio Bulkers’ Kamsarmax fleet earned USD 12,881 per day during the period, while its Ultramax fleet earned USD 9,757 per day.Voyages fixed so far for the second quarter of 2018 for the Kamsarmax fleet were at around USD 13,250 per day for 56% of the days, and for the Ultramax fleet they were at USD 11,925 per day for 48% of the days.Furthermore, the company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of USD 0.02 per share on April 20, payable on or about May 31, 2018, to all shareholders of record.Following the end of the first quarter of the year, Scorpio Bulkers entered into two financing agreements related to one Kamsarmax and one Ultramax vessel.On April 3, 2018, the company received a commitment for a loan facility of up to USD 12.75 million to finance the company’s Kamsarmax bulk carrier to be delivered from Jiangsu New Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Co Ltd in China in the third quarter of 2018.Later in April, Scorpio Bulkers entered into a financing transaction in respect of one of its Ultramax vessels involving the sale and leaseback of the SBI Tango, a 2015-built vessel, for consideration of USD 19 million. The transaction provides options to repurchase the vessel beginning on the third anniversary of the sale until the end of the bareboat charter agreement.