Sandals Resorts International (SRI) founder, the late Gordon “Butch” Stewart, was honoured last Thursday (Nov. 10) by Frontier Airlines with the naming of a new aircraft to be delivered in 2023.
Citing his work to strengthen and foster tourism in Jamaica, Frontier Airlines will name the plane tail “Stewart the Red-Billed Streamertail,” honouring Stewart and incorporating Jamaica’s national bird, the red-billed streamertail – locally known as the doctor bird, to Frontier’s signature plane tails program.
The new design was unveiled by Frontier Airlines President and CEO Barry Biffle at a ceremonial event held at Sandals Montego Bay.
“Sharing Jamaica with the world was my father’s joy and our hearts are filled with immense pride with the introduction of ‘Stewart the Red-Billed Streamertail’ to the Frontier fleet. I know that my dad would be so proud to have our Jamaican doctor bird flying once again,” said Adam Stewart, executive chairman of Sandals Resorts International. “Thank you, Frontier – we are honoured that you have chosen to pay tribute to him in this extraordinary way. His legendary spirit will now continue to soar over his beloved Jamaica.”
“We present this new design in recognition of the work that Mr. Stewart, and indeed the entire Stewart family, has done for tourism in Jamaica,” added Biffle.
A fierce champion of tourism to Jamaica since entering the industry in 1981, Gordon “Butch” Stewart’s leadership helped resurrect Jamaica’s travel industry at the time, earning him the respect of his peers and the admiration of his countrymen.
He was elected President of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica in 1989 and was inducted in its "Hall of Fame" in 1995.
He served as a Director of the Jamaica Tourist Board for a decade and as President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association in the mid-80s, ably balanced government and private sector priorities, reconciled the concerns of large and small Jamaican hotels and raised public understanding of the tourism industry.
Understanding the critical need for consistent lift to his island destination, in 1994, Stewart led a group of investors to take leadership of Air Jamaica, the Caribbean’s largest regionally based carrier.