Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte reported that effective December 18, 2019, the third daily flight will operate as a "same day turn", departing Miami International Airport at 8:35 a.m. and arriving at Cyril E. King Airport at 12:04 p.m.
The return service departs St. Thomas the same day it arrives at 1:04 p.m., landing in Miami at 3:10 p.m.
"The addition of this flight signals another step forward for our administration as we strive to restore air service to the Territory," said Commissioner Boschulte.
He explained the new seats are most timely in light of the continuing expansion of the sharing economy, as well as the return of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, in December.
Commissioner Boschulte added the Dallas-Fort Worth-based carrier will extend Charlotte-St. Croix flights from Saturday-only to daily during the peak Christmas period from December 18, 2019 to January 4, 2020.
The service will depart Charlotte Douglas International Airport at 11:45 a.m., arriving at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport at 4:24 p.m. The return flight will depart St. Croix at 5:15 p.m., arriving into Charlotte at 8:10 p.m.
"I would like to thank our tourism industry stakeholders for working closely with the Department of Tourism to strengthen demand for our destination while we presented our case for increased airlift to our airline partners," said Commissioner Boschulte.
He asserted his team will continue to engage carriers to strengthen the aerial highways which connect the Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland and the global marketplace, including exploring options for additional flights to St. Croix.
"We also look forward to working with our partners to roll out effective tactics to market our destination before, during and beyond the upcoming peak winter season," the Commissioner stated.
Earlier, the Department of Tourism announced the commencement of American Airlines service to St. Thomas from Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago, beginning December 21, 2019. The Dallas flights will operate year-round on Saturdays, while the Chicago service will operate seasonally, also on Saturdays.
United Airlines will also serve the Chicago-St.Thomas market with weekly Saturday flights, beginning November 2, 2019.