Thursday, July 25, 2024

Belizean pilot flies JetBlue’s inaugural flight to Belize


A Belizean pilot, Jason Smith, was on the flight crew that brought down JetBlue’s inaugural non-stop flight on Wednesday, December 6th, from New York City’s John Fitzgerald Kennedy International Airport. Smith, a native of Punta Gorda Town (PG) in the Toledo District, was honored to pilot the Airbus A320 that touched down at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) on Wednesday afternoon.
A special ceremony was held at the PGIA with officials from the Belize Tourism Board and the Ministry of Tourism. Tourism stakeholders included the United States Ambassador to Belize, Her Excellency Michelle Kwan, and Prime Minister Honourable Dr. John Briceño. While no interviews were available with the Belizean pilot, he was lauded by Prime Minister Briceño. “What a crowning achievement can we have now, when it’s a Belizean pilot, from PG, flying JetBlue,” said Briceño. The prime minister said it is inspiring that Smith is the first Belizean to fly an international carrier, crewing JetBlue’s inaugural flight to Belize.
Minister of Tourism Honourable Anthony Mahler said the overnight sector is the most significant contributor to the Belizean economy. “JetBlue opens a whole new route to New York for us. Many Belizeans in the Diaspora will use this route,” said Mahler. He added that Smith’s accomplishment is a testament to Belizeans’ potential and encourages young Belizeans to believe in their dreams.
JetBlue’s Vice-President for Government and Airport Affairs said that travelers can access a direct flight at a low cost. The direct services from New York will be three times per week.
JetBlue was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in the Long Island City neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens. The airline, considered a low-cost carrier, operates over 1,000 flights daily and serves 100 domestic and international network destinations. The countries it flies to include the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and Europe.

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