In a significant boost to the French Caribbean, Norwegian announced that it would be launching flights to Martinique and Guadeloupe. The major launch includes flights from Boston, Baltimore/Washington and New York to both French departments. The seasonal service will launch Dec. 3, 2015.
It will include three flights per week between John F Kennedy International Airport and Guadeloupe’s Pointe-a-Pitre International Airport on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, along with three flights between JFK and Martinique’s Aime Cesaire International Airport on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
“We launched our first long-haul flights to the US two years ago and the response from American travellers has been fantastic,” said Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos. “It’s great to see that our low fares, friendly service and new, more environmentally friendly aircraft are appreciated. It is therefore a pleasure to be able to launch new, exotic routes between the US mainland and the Caribbean islands Guadeloupe and Martinique.”
The Baltimore/Washington flights to Martinique will operate on Mondays and Fridays, while Boston flights will launch Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The new flights are the first direct flights from New York to the French Caribbean in decades.
“We will continue to expand in the US, by launching new routes and establishing more US bases,” Kjos said.
Martinique received a major lift earlier this summer with the launch of four weekly American Airlines flights between Miami and the French island.
“The critical importance of the Northeastern US market to tourism development in the Caribbean is well-known in our industry,” said Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas of the Martinique Promotion Bureau. “In recent years, we’ve invested steadily in the market, progressively expanding demand for leisure travel to the French West Indies, while also leveraging key aviation industry events like Routes Americas to attract the interest of airline partners. These new flights from Norwegian represent a significant step forward in our overall US development strategy, building upon our success in re-establishing nonstop flights from the US via Miami in 2013 and the tremendous growth we’ve seen in the cruise sector since 2010.”
In a statement, Chairman of the Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board Hilaire Brudey said the additional airlift was “historic for our destination.”
“It rewards an efficient global development strategy implemented in the US market since the opening of our NY office in late 2012,” Brudey said. “The continued growth of American visitors to the Guadeloupe Islands is key to the diversification of our visitorship. As our number one US in-bound area, the accessibility from the East Coast has been a cornerstone of our US strategy; therefore, this partnership with Norwegian, the world’s fastest growing airline, is an excellent opportunity for more East Coasters to finally tick the Guadeloupe Islands off their bucket list.”