Since American Eagle pulled out from the Territory almost a decade ago, the BVI has suffered from an airlift shortage that over the years has been seasonally remedied by airlines that service the destination.
However, for 2020 the dynamics are expected to shift with announcement of new flight agreements that will be coupled with the usual annual airline flight increase.
One such annual announcement came from LIAT this week, as the airline which largely connects the BVI to the region announced the commencement of a BVI nonstop flight. LIAT in an advisory issued on Tuesday stated, “From December 3, LIAT will have non-stop flights to and from Tortola every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday!”
The regional airline explained that the flight will be coming from the southern Caribbean and terminating here in the BVI. “Flight LI300/301 will depart Barbados at 9:05 a.m. and arrive in Tortola at 11:20 a.m. Get the returning flight departing Tortola at 12:00 p.m. and arrive in Barbados at 2:15 p.m.”
Similarly, Inter Caribbean Airways, which flies to various Caribbean islands to and from the Territory also said that it would be giving BVI travelers more options this season. The Airline announced on November 15 that it is adding yet another BVI connected flight. “We are happy to Announce our new route connecting the British Virgin Islands and the Eastern Caribbean with the exotic destination of Punta Cana,” the company stated.
Inter Caribbean airline spent some time explaining how the new flight will work stating, “With this new route more points in the USA, Canada and South America now have a new way to connect to BVI. For those in the Eastern Caribbean this new route gives you access to the incredible choices for an all inclusive vacation that Punta Cana offers. More than 70 airlines serve Punta Cana....... We are working to give more options for travelers from all over the world to go island-hopping around the Caribbean,” inter Carbean airways.
These two announcements are being coupled with plans by Government to add new services to the BVI route. These plans were mentioned by Premier Hon. Andrew Fahie during his November 19 Budget Address.
Hon. Fahie told the Territory that talks are in train to connect the BVI with Caribbean Airlines, which is a major regional flyer.
The Premier stated, “The BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) has advised that it is in discussion with Caribbean Airlines Limited to add the Virgin Islands to their route network.”
Additionally, the Premier also disclosed that another company is planning to bump up the airlift options for the BVI in 2020.
Hon. Fahie said, “There is optimism that this will happen in 2020. Silver Airways is set to add their 48 and 72-seater ATR aircraft to the BVI by April 2020. This will significantly increase airlift to and from the Territory and make it more convenient to connect with other destinations.”
“The marketing strategy of these two airlines involves promoting the calendar of events – in the BVI’s case, our events such as Emancipation Festival, Lobster Fest, Virgin Gorda Easter Festival and our regattas – to boost their bookings. This will help the BVI to increase our visitor arrivals, providing direct benefits to our hotel, accommodation, and hospitality sectors,” the BVI Leader further mentioned.