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How Coronavirus Is Affecting American Airlines in the Caribbean

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 15, 2020

American Airlines has announced a series of changes to its schedule in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Crucially, though, the carrier said it would “continue” its short-haul flights to the Caribbean, with the suspension of just a few regional routes.

For a nearly two-month period from March 16 through May 6, the carrier is planning a major reduction in long-haul flights to the tune of a 75 percent decrease in capacity compared to the previous year. 

That comes “in response to decreased demand and changes to U.S. government travel restrictions due to coronavirus.”

While the long-haul reduction affects areas like Asia and Australia, American Airlines has announced far fewer modifications to its Latin America and Caribbean flight schedule during that period. 

American Airlines has announced the suspension of service from both New York and Miami to Georgetown, Guyana. 

Other flights in the wider Caribbean Basin region that have been suspended include Miami and Dallas to Bogota, along with suspension in service on routes to two destinations on the Caribbean coast of Colombia: Miami-Barranquilla and Miami-Cartagena, among others. 

That means few changes to the carrier’s massive flight network in the wider Caribbean region. 

Indeed, a survey of American Airlines’ website showed flights continuing on offer. 

American Airlines is for example, flying seven daily flights between Miami and Nassau, The Bahamas. 

Having said that, a number of countries are mobilizing to buffet against the spread of the virus by restricting travel from certain countries. 

Most notable is St Maarten, which will launch a restriction March 17 on travelers from the United States, Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland entering St Maarten. (That does not apply to visitors currently on neighboring islands or St Maarten scheduled to depart through Princess Juliana International Airport in the coming weeks. 

The restrictions are set to run for a two-week period, according to the office of the Prime Minister. 

“The restrictions do not apply to St. Maarten/St. Martin residents, nor residents of neighboring islands who transit through St. Maarten,” said St Maarten Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs. “All returning and transiting residents are reminded to continue to monitor themselves upon return and to notify their doctor should they start to show symptoms.”

Another destination, Haiti, has shut down most flights to the country and closed up its border with the neighboring Dominican Republic. 

— CJ

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