Airlift capacity to the U.S. Virgin Islands will get a boost this summer, the Department of Tourism predicted in a news release issued Tuesday.
Tourism Commissioner designee Joseph Boschulte said Delta Air Lines will add a second daily flight between Atlanta and St. Thomas this summer, while the existing New York to St. Thomas nonstop flight will continue through the end of August.
Boschulte also said Delta will make its seasonal adjustment to the Atlanta-St. Croix route with a daily Saturday service from April 6 to August 24, before ramping up its schedule for the 2019-2020 winter season.
“We are steadily restoring confidence in our destination,” he said, adding the department “will leave no stone unturned to maintain and increase airlift to both islands, especially as more accommodations come back on line.”
The tourism leader also said American Airlines was seriously considering restoring its third daily Miami-St. Thomas flight to the market, as well as expressing interest in a new Dallas flight to the destination in the future.
Boschulte said United Airlines will serve the Houston-St. Thomas market beginning in May, with weekly Saturday service, and then daily flights from June 6 to August 19. Nonstop flights between Washington, D.C., and St. Thomas are also scheduled over a similar period, while there will be intermittent Saturday flights between Newark and St. Thomas over the summer, the commissioner designee said.
On the intra-regional front, Boschulte said the department has begun talks with LIAT about increasing frequency or capacity on the Antigua-St. Thomas route, which airline officials reported was performing well. The service currently operates three days a week.
“Our work to encourage our airline partners to serve both St. Croix and St. Thomas is part of our overall marketing continuum,” Boschulte said. “Just as we work with the media and travel wholesalers and retailers to attract visitors to our shores, we are also developing strong relationships with our airline and cruise line partners, who have a very strong appetite for product knowledge and destination developments as they gauge their current routes and itineraries and assess potential new destinations.”