American Airlines will expand its service to the U.S. Virgin Islands to meet increased demand for summertime travel, Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte announced on Sunday after a meeting with airline executives in Dallas on Friday.
Beginning June 3, passengers in Dallas or connecting from western and midwestern cities will have not one but two daily flights from which to choose when traveling to St. Thomas, while Charlotte, North Carolina-based travelers will benefit from three flights per day, up from twice a day.
The airline will also increase daily flights from Miami International Airport to Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas. Up to four daily departures will be available in April and May from the key south Florida airport before the schedule is adjusted to three daily flights in June, July and August, Boschulte said in a news release issued on Sunday.
Daily service to St. Thomas from the New York tri-state area, out of John F. Kennedy International Airport, which Boschulte said continues to be an exceptionally strong market for the territory, as well as from Philadelphia to St. Thomas, will meet the travel needs of visitors and members of the large U.S. Virgin Islands diaspora who reside in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the country.
“The Department of Tourism is extremely pleased by the increase of summer airlift into the territory,” Boschulte said.
The commissioner expressed confidence that demand for experiences in the USVI will continue to grow as mainland-based travelers, including the increasing number of those who have been vaccinated, regain confidence in travel.
American will serve St. Croix’s Henry E. Rohlsen Airport from Miami with at least two daily flights, and summer travelers from Charlotte will continue to enjoy daily flights to the “Big Island,” the news release said.
Overall, St. Croix has experienced an increase of 19 percent in weekly seats year-over-year from 2020 to 2021.
“We are grateful to our partners at American Airlines for supporting our lifeblood industry by enhancing service to our islands with these additional flights, as they represent critical opportunities to help stimulate the economy of the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Boschulte said.
This summer the territory also will welcome new flights (four days a week) from the New York tri-state area when JetBlue Airways begins service between Newark Liberty International Airport and St. Thomas. The new service is a result of a new codeshare Northeast Alliance with American Airlines, which will see JetBlue add more than a dozen new markets in greater New York City.