CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Following a meeting with American Airlines in Dallas on Friday, Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte said that the nation’s largest carrier will expand its service to the territory to meet increased demand for summertime travel.
Beginning on June 3, passengers in Texas 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. 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.
Daily service to St. Thomas from the New York tri-state area, out of John F. Kennedy International Airport, which 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,” said Boschulte, who 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”. 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,” said Boschulte, who addressed meeting planners, travel agents and media representatives at a travel industry luncheon in Dallas on Friday.
The increasingly popular destination of St Croix has actually seen a 19 percent increase year over year.
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.
Frontier Airlines recently launched new service from Orlando and Miami to St. Thomas.
“We are pleased that the performance already is off to a strong start, as evidenced by additional flights on the Miami to St. Thomas route,” tourism officials said. “Looking forward to many more positive airlift developments in the months ahead.”