Morning flights from American Airlines departing the U.S. Virgin Islands will not be available beginning Nov. 4, a casualty of the airline's decision announced in August to slash 31,000 flights, representing 16 percent of the carrier's schedule.
"These adjustments are in line with our approach to our network and schedule planning throughout the year," the airline told the media in August. "Preliminary schedules are published 331 days in advance and then adjustments are made closer in based on the schedule we intend to operate. We are now loading schedule adjustments approximately 100 days in advance, which is in line with how we adjusted our schedule in 2019 prior to the pandemic."
The reductions, which take effect next month, left St. Croix with one direct flight beginning Nov. 4 through late March 2023 from the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport to Miami, according an examination of available flights. Other offers include several connecting flights that take St. Croix travelers to St. Thomas before heading to the mainland.
For St. Thomas, the Nov. 4 through late March, 2023 schedule includes two direct flights and several connecting offerings, all of which are afternoon options.
The reductions come at a time when the territory will be seeing some of its busiest traffic, with families visiting home for the holiday season and St. Croix celebrating the Crucian Christmas Festival — the first full event since the Covid-19 pandemic.
American Airlines is projecting its 2022 schedule to be between 7.5 percent to 9.5 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels, with third-quarter sales down between 8 percent to 10 percent compared to the same period in 2019.