By the Caribbean Journal staff
The world’s largest airline is adding a pair of new routes to the US Virgin Islands.
American Airlines will be launching new nonstop flights from both Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth to St Thomas, beginning Dec. 21, according to the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.
The new services will both operate weekly on Saturdays.
The Chicago service will operate on Airbus A319 aircraft with 128 seats, while the Dallas flights will be run on Boeing 757 aircraft with 176 seats, according to USVI Tourism Commissioner Nominee Joseph Boschulte.
“We are delighted with the confidence our airline partners have expressed in our destination,” said Commissioner Nominee Boschulte, who met with American Airlines’ leadership team in Dallas last month. “American has expressed a high confidence in and commitment to our destination and we look forward to making more announcements concerning the strengthening of aerial highways which connect travelers to both our airports, on St. Thomas and St. Croix.”
The Chicago route will operate seasonally, while the Dallas flight will run year round.
The capacity jump comes as the US Virgin Islands continues to see a tourism renaissance, and as St Thomas in particular is set for a major boost with the planned relaunch of the Ritz-Carlton, St Thomas this winter.
That property will return with a fully renovated experience, according to tourism officials.
The new flights also come as St Thomas continues to see more carriers adding capacity or expanding with new routes to the destination.
That includes Delta’s plans to add a second daily nonstop flight to St Thomas this summer from Atlanta, and an expansion by United of its Houston-St Thomas route to daily service beginning in June.