By the Caribbean Journal staff
The U.S. Virgin Islands is seeing a new airlift boom, and the island of St Thomas is the latest beneficiary.
Florida-based Spirit Airlines has officially launched new daily nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and St Thomas’ Cyril E. King Airport.
It’s another big step for the US Virgin Islands as it makes its recovery in the wake of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, both of which hit the territory.
But the destination has been seeing a strong recovery, as more hotels and resorts have reopened their doors, including St Thomas’ Marriott Frenchman’s Cove and the Emerald Beach Resort.
There are also a host of reopened hotels on neighboring St John, including Gallows Point, Estate Lindholm and the Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel.
Several other St Thomas properties will open in the next few months, including the Secret Harbour resort, which is planning a June 1 relaunch, as does the very popular Bolongo Bay which is currently renting rooms but planning an official reopening June 1 as well.
Spirit’s St Thomas expansion comes after the low-cost carrier announced it would be launching new nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale and the island of St Croix, service which will start May 24.
It’s also another example of Fort Lauderdale’s dramatic growth as a hub for Caribbean travel, as carriers including JetBlue and Southwest Airlines look to position the airport as the base of their Caribbean networks.