Above: the last American Eagle flight
By the Caribbean Journal staff
American Eagle launched its last flight from the British Virgin Islands on Sunday, after almost 27 years of service.
The move is part of the carrier’s gradual phaseout from the Caribbean that is slated to be completed this year.
American Eagle flight 4795 left Terrance B Lettsome Airport in Tortola at 10:30 PM, accompanied with a two-fire water cannon salute.
“History was made in the British Virgin Islands tonight through the departure of American Eagle’s last flight,” said Lynette Harrigan, niche marketing manager at the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board. “We have relied heavily on American Eagle, and, time and again, they have served our country and our tourists very well.”
American Eagle began service to Tortola with a 19-seat plane in September 1986 out of San Juan, eventually upgrading to a 64-seat ATR 72 with flights into Tortola operating six to seven times per day.
American has previously said the phaseout was due to a decline in flights after September 2011.
Several carriers will be looking to fill the void left by American’s departure, including Cape Air and Seabourne, though it’s not yet clear what kind of impact the void will cause.