By Dana Niland
St Kitts is in the midst of an airlift boom, and now the world’s largest airline is adding another new flight to the destination.
American Airlines will launch a second weekly nonstop flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to St. Kitts on Wednesdays, Caribbean Journal has learned.
This new flight will complement the carrier’s existing non-stop Saturday service from JFK, with service set to begin Dec. 18.
“I am very pleased to welcome the addition of this mid-week flight by American Airlines,” said St Kitts Tourism Minister Lindsey Grant. “It’s wonderful to receive this additional service from a valued partner, which provides visitors and Diaspora alike with more ways to get to island from our primary source market. This is a testament to American’s confidence in our tourism product.”
American Airlines will operate the flight utilizing a 176-seat Boeing 757 with 16 business class seats through February, and then a 160-seat Boeing 738 with 16 business class seats with the following schedule.
“The timing of this additional flight is particularly significant, as American just launched summer non-stop service from Dallas this past weekend and expanded twice-daily service from Miami International Airport to 5 days a week in 2017,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St Kitts Tourism Authority. “The addition of mid-week service year-round from the New York metropolitan area indicates a growth in the marketplace concurrent with our marketing initiatives.”
In addition to the new Wednesday non-stop service from JFK, American also serves St Kitts nonstop on Saturdays from JFK and Charlotte Douglas International Airport year-round.
American further provides year-round, non-stop daily service to St. Kitts from MIA, with twice-daily flights operating five times weekly.
Already for the first four months of 2019, St Kitts is reporting a system-wide increase in air passenger arrivals of 14.5 percent as compared to the same period in 2018.
From all North American carriers, St. Kitts’ air passenger arrivals increased 17.2 percent for January through April 2019 as compared to the same period in 2018.
“This new service is part of our specific strategy to grow our tourism industry by building out airlift from select target gateways with our air partners to support the destination’s expanding hotel product,” Brown said.