(LOOP NEWS) – In June, American Airlines, the Caribbean’s primary air carrier, began to slowly resume flights to Caribbean destinations that had suspended travel in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As borders begin to open and travel begins to increase, the pre-holiday months of October and November will be critical months for the airline, as it begins to ramp up travel to the region.
The carrier recently announced that it will soon be piloting a preflight coronavirus testing program that will begin with Jamaica, where it currently flies twice daily to Montego Bay and three flights daily to Kingston, followed by preflight testing in the Bahamas.
“The testing that we will offer will be optional for the convenience of our customers. Jamaican residents that volunteer for our pilot program [and get a negative test result] will not have to quarantine upon arrival,” said Laura Masvidal, a spokesperson with American Airlines.
American Airlines has also taken a number of steps to lure back travelers including allowing passengers to fly standby without an extra fee and taking an earlier flight if empty seats are available. American is also offering frequent flier opportunities to re-engage customers.
According to a report from USA Today, “American beefed up service to Mexican resort destinations and will add seasonal service from Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix to La Paz and Loreto, Mexico, starting in December, spokesman Andrea Koos said. In an unusual move, American gives “bonus” frequent-flyer miles to passengers who redeem their miles for free trips instead of just letting them earn miles for paid travel.”
“As we continue with the steady resumption of our operations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, our teams throughout the region have been focused on providing our customers with a safe and seamless travel experience,” said Jose Freig, American’s managing director of operations for the Caribbean and Latin America. “Through efforts that include our clean commitment, and soon, preflight COVID-19 testing in some markets, we hope to restore confidence in the safety of air travel.”
Here are the new American Caribbean legs planned for October and November.
Flights to Barbados began on October 8 for the first time since May 2020 and will be offered 5-times a week.
American Airlines just reopened flights of Miami to Freeport, North Eleuthera and George Town, Exuma in The Bahamas.
Each of those flights are running five times each week. American Airlines will begin once-weekly service from Miami to Marsh Harbour, Abaco and once-weekly service from Charlotte to Exuma. According to the carrier, it is working more than 300 weekly flights to 23 places over the Bahamas islands this month.
As of October 1, nonstop flights are available to Belize from Miami via American Airlines.
American Airlines just resumed thrice-weekly flights from Miami to the island of Bermuda.
Flights to Havana Cuba will resume on November 4.
5-times weekly flights to Grenada began again on October 8.
Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant has said that American Airlines will start flights from the U.S. on November 7.
US Virgin Islands
Beginning in November, American will serve St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands with two daily flights from Charlotte; daily flights from Philadelphia; and Saturday service from both Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth during the first half of the month, followed by daily flights from both cities in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The additional flights will complement the existing thrice daily service between Miami and St. Thomas.
St. Croix will also register an increase in service from American in November with two flights a day from Miami as well as daily Charlotte flights during the second half of November, up from the existing Saturday service.