US Virgin Islands Eyes More Airlift to St Thomas, St Croix

st john caribbean islands bestHoneymoon Beach in St John.
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The US Virgin Islands is looking for airline route expansion to St Thomas and St Croix. 

The USVI sent a delegation to the major Routes World conference in Las Vegas, including a high-profile meeting with American Airlines. 

The meeting with American Airlines officials focused on the USVI’s concerns of the “severe impact” on residents and tourists in St Croix and St Thomas in light of the carrier’s recent announcement of flight cuts to the territory. 

The flight cuts begin in November, leaving the USVI with reduced airlift beginning Nov. 4 through late March 2023. 

st croix buccaneer
The Buccaneer resort in St Croix.

American says the move is due to “economic considerations,” along with pilot and crew shortages and fuel issues. 

Boschulte pointed out to AA that the USVI is leading the Caribbean in terms of air arrivals, with a 44 percent increase compared to 2019. 

“USVI’s Tourism Department and Governor Albert Bryan have had an on-going series of in-person meetings and negotiations with ALL the major airlines throughout the year to add more flights to the airports on both islands, Boschulte said. “We offer airlines a mix of aggressive incentives that can include reductions in airport fees and increasing our advertising spend in markets with direct flights to the Territory”.

“We are doing everything possible to persuade all airlines to not only maintain their routes to St. Croix and St. Thomas, but to expand their flight frequencies given our exponential growth these past two years emerging out of the pandemic”, Boschulte continued. “But we keep in mind that airlines plan out their constantly changing routes according to their logistics planning and economic projections months in advance.”

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