Virgin Atlantic will take over the London to Kingston route of Jamaica’s national airline and reduce daily service to two round-trip flights each week, company chairman Richard Branson said.
Branson said his airline will assume control of the route in October from Air Jamaica, which has been losing £10m (€14.7m) a year on flights between the Jamaican capital and London’s Heathrow Airport.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Air Jamaica cannot continue to swallow the losses mounting from a single daily service,” Branson said. “It is not right that the Jamaican taxpayer should continue to fund such losses when there may be more pressing demands for precious funds.”
Virgin Atlantic currently operates two flights a week from Gatwick Airport to Montego Bay.
The opposition Jamaica Labour Party has criticised the latest deal, arguing it will put Jamaica at a disadvantage in the competition among Caribbean islands for British tourists.
Air Jamaica executives have not commented on the agreement.