American Airlines begins flying to St. Croix three more times a week starting Thursday with the arrival of American Airlines flight no. 879 from Miami. To mark the occasion, the Department of Tourism has planned a special reception at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport, complete with musical entertainment and gifts to welcome passengers and crew.
These flights have been eagerly anticipated by St. Croix hoteliers, restaurateurs and other businesses catering to tourism since they were first confirmed and announced in June.
Right now, American Airlines flies once daily between Miami and St. Croix; the extra three flights bring the airline up to 10 weekly flights. The additional flights will arrive on St. Croix Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:35 p.m., stay overnight and depart 10 a.m. the following day. All are on Boeing 737 aircraft with a capacity of 148 passengers.
In December, Delta is adding flights to St. Croix too. While flight seats to St. Croix dropped from 5,500 in the 2007 season to about 5,200 in the 2008-09 winter season, the current 2009-10 season will see more flights by more airlines, with about 7,100 passenger seats flying in, Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty said at a recent Senate hearing.
“The new service from American Airlines arrives at a key time for the territory,” said Nicholson-Doty, in a statement celebrating the new flights. “With the holiday season upon us and temperatures cooling down in the U.S., potential travelers are looking for family-friendly destinations with good flight schedules like St. Croix,” she said.