American Airlines plans to launch flights to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) for the 2023 summer season, a boost for the Caribbean territory that has been actively seeking to attract service from a North American airline.
American regional affiliate Envoy Air will begin operating from Miami (MIA) to BVI’s Lettsome International Airport (EIS) from June 1, 2023. The carrier will fly the route daily with an Embraer E175 aircraft.
American said the service will be seasonal, running “through the summer,” but will also be operated during the winter season with flights set to restart in November 2023 after a brief pause.
BVI is without air service beyond the Caribbean so the connection to MIA, an American hub, is significant. Kye Rymer, BVI’s vice premier and minister for communications and works, has previously said American was one of eight North American airlines with which a delegation from the territory met in October at the Routes World 2022 conference in Las Vegas.
Rymer has said there was strong interest from the airlines in potentially serving EIS, although he noted the runway’s length (4,642 ft.) limits flight options and necessitates lengthening.
But the American regional flights will connect the territory to the oneworld carrier's extensive global network via MIA, providing tourists with a means to get to BVI other than via ferries or short-hop flights from other Caribbean islands.
“This venture to have [nonstop] flights between Miami and the British Virgin Islands will make it significantly easier, faster and more affordable for persons from around the world to come to the British Virgin Islands, which is one of the must-visit tourist destinations in the world,” Rymer said in a statement announcing the new service. “Our residents will also benefit from convenient connections for business and leisure travel to dozens of destinations across American’s route network.”
American VP-Miami Juan Carlos Liscano noted the oneworld carrier operates to 70 destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America. “This year demand has remained strong for Miami travel,” Liscano said.
Since 2021, new American routes in the region have included flights from Miami to the islands of Anguilla (AXA) and Dominica (DOM), as well as service to Samaná (AZS) in the Dominican Republic.