The Virgin Islands is said to be American Airlines “Sexiest New Destination” as the Territory gears up for a new service with the airline to Miami, which is expected to be launched on June 1.
In an article titled “Bringing Sexy Back”, American Airlines confirmed that the Network Planning Team won the Cranky Network Award for Sexiest New Route – Short Haul for American Airlines.
“We are going to rock this destination. Congratulations BVI!” a representative from American Airlines said while congratulating the Territory on achieving the recognition.
Meanwhile, work is ongoing at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport in anticipation of the start-up of the service and the increase in passengers through the facility.
Minister of Communications and Works Honourable Kye Rymer stated that the success and growth of the Territory’s economy is heavily reliant on hassle-free access and connectivity. He said the direct connection to the US Mainland by American Airlines will prove to be a “game-changer” and one of the main economic drivers to the main industries in the VI.
Honourable Rymer said, “I am thrilled that American Airlines has chosen to extend their services to the VI as the Government and the Authority continue to work tirelessly to enhance and increase air access to and through the Territory. Connectivity through air service development will continue to be our main focus ahead of the proposed airport development project.”
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Theodore E. Burke said, “the project implementation team from American Airlines visited the Territory from February 20 to24 and met with officials from the BVI Airports Authority and other industry stakeholders to ensure a smooth launch and integration of the service to the Territory.”
The team included specialists in project implementation and management, Information Technology, customer experience, compliance and airport and airline operations.
Discussions were held with the officers from the Departments of Immigration and Customs, several hotels and other service providers at the airport. They also met with members of the Authority’s Board of Directors to share their vision for partnering with the airport and by extension the Territory along with the next steps in the project ahead of start-up.
Mr. Burke pledged the full support and commitment of the board to the project which he stated will undoubtedly prove to strengthen the VI’s economy with the ease of air access.
“Our board is aware of the difficulties with travelling to the Territory and as part of our mandate, we are committed to improved air access not only to the US Mainland but also within the region and will continue to partner with airlines to bring this to fruition,” he added.
Managing Director Mr. Kurt Menal said the authority is currently undertaking the necessary steps to prepare the airport for the significant increase in passenger movement that will result from the direct connection by American Airlines.
Mr. Menal said, “We are cognizant of the reality that air service development has outpaced necessary infrastructural enhancement given the highly desirable nature of the Virgin Islands as a destination for pleasure and business. In this regard, certain aspects of the proposed airport masterplan will be initiated with a view to incrementally providing the additional capacity that will be required to efficiently process the added volume of passengers.”
The Managing Director added that the intention is to implement seamless processes throughout the passenger journey to ensure that guests experience at the Territory’s airport is one befitting of the warmth of the Virgin Islands.
The authority’s team has already identified the office and check-in counter spaces to be occupied by American Airlines for their operations. The immediate next step will see the airlines installing the necessary equipment and infrastructure at the airport, followed by the recruitment and training of the necessary personnel to staff their operations.
The authority will continue its efforts to enhance the customer experience through our airports with crucial improvements and upgrades to our facilities.