The U.S. Virgin Islands is expecting a major increase in American Airlines flights, beginning next month, the V.I. Department Tourism announced Friday.
D.O.T. Commissioner Joseph Boschulte announced that the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier is responding to strong travel demand from the Northeast, the Midwest and the South Central regions of the mainland United States.
He reported that beginning in November, American will serve St. Thomas with two daily flights from Charlotte; daily flights from Philadelphia; and Saturday service from both Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth during the first half of the month, followed by daily flights from both cities in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The additional flights will complement the existing thrice daily service between Miami and St. Thomas.
St. Croix will also register an increase in service from American in November with two flights a day from Miami as well as daily Charlotte flights during the second half of November, up from the existing Saturday service.
“We are readily preparing for this robust increase in flights from our longstanding air partner,” said Mr. Boschulte, adding that the service aligns with the rollout of the territory’s enhanced prescreening travel protocols.
Every traveler aged five and older who enters the U.S. Virgin Islands is required to use the USVI Travel Screening Portal and submit a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) test result at www.usviupdate.com/travelportal. The recently updated edition of the secure online portal incorporates QR and color-coding technology to process and confirm passengers’ submissions.
Virgin Islands-bound travelers are required to provide either a COVID-19 antigen (molecular/PCR/rapid) test taken and negative result received (both within five days of commencement of travel to the territory), or a COVID-19 antibody test taken and positive result received (both within four months of commencement of travel to the territory).
The commissioner thanked the Department of Tourism’s sales and marketing teams for keeping the destination top of mind in the marketplace through regular sales training presentations.
Following the destination’s participation in the Land X-Change Global MICE conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica last weekend, the Mr. Boschulte expressed optimism in the meetings and incentives market to help ignite the return of group travel to the USVI. While in Jamaica, the tourism team secured more than 35 appointments with top meeting and incentive planners, travel agencies and wedding destination experts, and explored timely leads for upcoming group business to the USVI, according to the release.
The commissioner reminded all travelers of the need to comply with the territory’s stringent protocols and guidelines in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the territory.