American Airlines to suspend 2023 summer Miami flight
American Airlines will suspend flights between Bermuda and Miami this summer, the Government announced yesterday.
Wayne Furbert, the Minister of Transport, said he was “disappointed” by the suspension of the service.
“We've held meetings with American Airlines to find alternative solutions. However, they have indicated that Bermuda is one of many markets in which they have been forced to reduce summer capacity,” he said.
“American Airlines indicated that they intend to return to the Miami market in November 2023. From our discussions with American, they have been clear that this is a business decision based on flight crew availability constraints.
“They feel that the Bermuda demand levels anticipated this summer can be accommodated on their Charlotte, New York and Philadelphia services.”
No date for the suspension of service was given.
Mr Furbert added that service between Bermuda and other destinations is expected to ramp up in advance of the summer season, including United Airlines’ service to Newark starting next month and JetBlue’s daily seasonal service to New York LaGuardia beginning in May.
“We understand the loss of the direct service will inconvenience residents and visitors,” he said.
“The Ministry of Transport and our partners will continue to engage with airlines, including incumbent airlines and others that do not currently provide air service to Bermuda, to increase Bermuda's airlift."
Susan Jackson, the One Bermuda Alliance’s shadow transport minister, said the AA move pointed to a “crisis” in the Bermuda tourism industry.
Ms Jackson stated: “American Airlines' Miami direct flight is yet another casualty in airlift to and from Bermuda.
“This is an indicator our Bermuda tourism product is in crisis.
“The Minister of Transport said Bermuda is one of many markets in which they have been forced to reduce summer capacity.
“I challenge the minister to explain why many of our direct competitors to the south are enjoying full summer airlift capacity and record-breaking tourist arrivals?
“From the outside looking in, it's becoming increasingly clear the Bermuda Government is failing in its ability to create an environment of collaboration between hoteliers, airlines and the Bermuda Tourism Authority.
“How many taxpayers' dollars have been spent on promotion in the Miami market which is now wasted without a convincing argument from stakeholders to keep such an important direct flight?
“Of additional concern is the Government's inability to advocate for local travellers. Many families living in Bermuda have relatives and friends in the Caribbean and the loss of the Miami flight undoubtedly makes connections to islands to our south much more costly with complicated flight connections.
“Bermudians love to cruise. Navigating connecting flights to meet strict cruise check-in embarkations can become nerve-racking, or lead to spending additional money for overnight stays.
“Our regular Miami commuters, particularly students, will now have the inconvenience and insecurity of connecting through unfamiliar air terminals.
“This is just another example of the disconnected approach Government seems to be taking in the island's efforts to restore and build our airlift capacity.”
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