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Boston winter flights to return this year, minister tells MPs

Winter flights to Boston will return this year, Wayne Furbert, the Minister of Transport told MPs yesterday.

In a statement, Mr Furbert revealed that airline JetBlue will provide the service between Logan International Airport and Bermuda’s LF Wade International Airport.

JetBlue withdrew the service in 2021, blaming a lack of demand.

But at a tourism summit last November, air transport officials said they were hopeful that a link to Boston would return following “promising” negotiations with airlines.

Mr Furbert confirmed that the JetBlue’s new winter schedule was “a direct result of months of discussions” led by the Ministry of Transport, with assistance from the Bermuda Airport Authority, our partners, the Bermuda Tourism Authority, and Bermuda Skyport Corporation Ltd.

JetBlue’s new winter schedule will include four round-trip flights per week between Boston and Bermuda, starting in November 2023 and running through to March 2024.

The airline will resume its regular daily summer schedule starting early May.

Mr Furbert said: “JetBlue’s year-round services to Boston will complement its existing services between New York – John F Kennedy International – and Bermuda, and the recently announced JetBlue’s new, daily seasonal service between New York LaGuardia and Bermuda starting in May 2023.

"A sustained year-round service between Boston and Bermuda has been a high priority for this Government, both as a service to Bermudians and our visitors. Many Bermudians benefit from Boston’s array of services and amenities, such as medical treatment centres.

“It also cannot be overstated the importance of Boston as a key Bermuda tourism market, second only to New York City in the number of visitors it brings to Bermuda.”

Mr Furbert outlined other air services:

• United Airlines’ service from Newark is scheduled to start in March 2023.

• British Airways’ daily service between Bermuda and Heathrow to commence in April.

• West Jet’s increased service to Toronto

He said: "As I stated recently, we were shocked to learn of American’s decision to suspend their Miami route this summer. We understand the challenges airlines are having, and that global air service is down 70 [per cent.

“I am confident that the Minister of Tourism with the Bermuda Tourism Authority will do the appropriate marketing to get the required Tourism numbers for the different seasons.

“As I stated, air service development is a priority. We will continue working with our air service development team to engage all our airline partners as we rebuild Bermuda’s air service connections.

"I will never say it will be an easy task to increase the airline service. But, because it is important to Bermuda, and although the odds may be against us sometimes, but as the Good Book says, I will continue to walk by faith and not by sight. People who walk by faith don't see obstacles; they see opportunities.“

Questioned by the Susan Jackson, the Shadow Transport Minister, Mr Furbert said he could not confirm if any of the new routes included a minimum revenue guarantee.

But he did confirm that discussions with Delta to establish flights to New York and Atlanta were ongoing.

The full statement can be found under related media.

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Published February 25, 2023 at 7:52 am (Updated February 25, 2023 at 7:52 am)

Boston winter flights to return this year, minister tells MPs

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