De Silva: Three airlines anticipated to start commercial flights in July
Minister of Tourism and Transport, Zane de Silva made a statement at the Government COVID-19 Update press conference.
I know many Bermudians are keen to stretch their legs beyond our shores, just as many who have been stranded abroad are anxious to return.
I am pleased that the Ministry of Health and my Ministry have been able to work together to produce a set of travellers’ guidelines which keep our visitors and residents safe.
After all, our island home is a precious resource, and we need to ensure our community is protected as we look forward to welcoming residents home and inviting visitors to experience our jewel in the Atlantic. 2
When regularly scheduled commercial flights resume in July, we anticipate Air Canada, Delta Air Lines and British Airways to service the island.
These schedules are always subject to change but, at present, the flights are as follows:
- From Thursday, 2 July, Air Canada will fly weekly from Toronto,
- Starting Monday, 6 July, Delta will fly daily from Atlanta, and,
- Beginning Friday, 17 July, British Airways will fly twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays.
Delta’s flights from New York and Boston are on hold. JetBlue anticipates providing service from those two cities starting in August, while American Airlines will fly from New York.
The other air service that we believe will start in August is WestJet, also from Toronto.
Flights from Philadelphia and Miami on American will not begin before December.
What we refer to as ‘seasonal’ flights from Newark, Washington DC and Charlotte are cancelled for 2020.
Where does this leave us?
The percentage change in our air capacity, i.e. available seats, year over year is as follows: 3
When we restricted entry only to Bermuda residents in March, that led to a 45.6% reduction in air capacity,
In April, May and June, we experienced a 100% reduction in air capacity as no commercial flights landed, and,
For July through to December we anticipate a reduction in seats available of between 91.9% (in July) and 26% (in December).
On average, as a result of the pandemic, Bermuda will experience a 61.7% reduction in air capacity in 2020, when compared with 2019.
What does that look like in numbers?
In 2019 our air capacity amounted to 579,720 seats and the 2020 projection was 543,325 seats. Now, we project a total for 2020 of 221,940 available seats. That is 357,780 fewer seats for travelers than last year.
I must emphasise these schedules change regularly – weekly, even! So, we will continue to monitor seat availability as and when schedules adjust.
Working with the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Bermuda Airport Authority and Skyport, the Ministry of Tourism and Transport will seek to increase air capacity and encourage visitation as it is prudent to do so. Our economy depends on it.
As I stated at the beginning, the Bermuda Government has placed great emphasis on community safety and creating an island space where visitors will be able to relax. 4
We must all do our part to ensure that, as we progress into Phase 4, we continue to embrace all the health measures that benefit us all: keep your distance and wear your mask!