Last-ditch Sunday flight to US cancelled


An emergency flight set up to get US citizens in Bermuda home today has been cancelled.

A WestJet flight from Toronto to Bermuda to bring Bermudians home and transport Canadians back which was scheduled for today has also been cancelled.

A Government spokesman said that the New York air traffic control centre had suspended airport approach and departure control services — which meant planes could not operate in Bermuda airspace.

He explained: “This service, which is essential for flights to safely arrive and depart from Bermuda, has resulted in today’s Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Bermuda being cancelled.”

The spokesman said it was expected the New York control centre would be back in operation by 7.30pm.

But he added: “This is not certain and the Bermuda Airport Authority is coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration for the latest updates.”

A spokeswoman for the US Consulate in Bermuda said: “Today’s Delta flight has been cancelled — it has not been postponed or rescheduled.

“The Consulate is unaware of any additional flights being added at this time.”

She added that people should monitor the websites of airlines and Bermuda airport operators Skyport for updated information.

The news came after the US Consulate said this morning that today’s emergency flight to the US would be the only one until further notice for American citizens who wanted to go home.

The consulate said earlier that four relief Delta flights to Atlanta had been organised from yesterday until Tuesday, with Bermudians in the US able to return today.

A government spokesman said earlier that it was “critically important that only Bermudian citizens and legal residents book these flights and carry the necessary documentation for entry into Bermuda”.

He added: “Individuals that are neither citizens nor legal residents of Bermuda will be denied entry into the country.”

Bermudians who want to come home and US nationals who want to return were told to book a seat at Delta.com or by using the FlyDelta app.

The flights were organised after negotiations that involved the Bermuda Government, airport operators Skyport and the United States Consulate.

A spokesman for the tourism and transport ministry said any flight crews arriving from Atlanta would remain on board the planes when they are on the tarmac.

Zane DeSilva, the tourism and transport minister, said the situation in the US “mirrors that of Canada, with many nationals stranded outside their home country and unable to secure a flight back home”.

Ms Dierman said the US Consulate had fielded “a moderately low volume of calls and e-mails?from Americans requesting information about their options”.

She added: “Many are following information posted on websites, social media, and government announcements.

“The Government of Bermuda has?been working around the clock to provide as much information as possible to the public about Covid-19.

“The protective measures that have been put in place help protect all those in Bermuda from the spread of the virus.”

Ms Dierman said: “I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to the many government officials, health professionals, immigration officers, and private citizens who have been working together around the clock to address Covid-19 to ensure the health and safety of all in Bermuda.”

She added Americans should sign up for the Smart Traveller Enrolment Programme to get security updates at https://step.state.gov/

The Consulate also posts regular updates on its website at bm.usconsulate.gov and social media sites Facebook.com/usconshamilton and twitter.com/usconshamilton.

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Published Mar 21, 2020 at 10:19 am (Updated Mar 22, 2020 at 8:20 pm)

Last-ditch Sunday flight to US cancelled

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